Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Happy 41st Birthday Sanath Jayasuriya !

Wishing a very Happy Birthday to the Gem of Sri Lanka, Sanath Jayasuriya !

Jayasuriya, Vaas can come in any moment - Aravinda de Silva

Speaking exclusive to Gulf News in an interview, Sri Lanka Cricket's Chairman of the selectors Aravinda de Silva has said that Sanath Jayasuriya and Chaminda Vaas may make a comeback to the national squad anytime as long as they keep themselves fit and keep on paying.

When asked on, How tough was it as a selector to drop your team-mate Jayasuriya. Do you think there is still cricket ahead of him?

Aravinda answered : It was a tough decision to take as he had done so much for the country. He was putting a lot of pressure on him and the team to keep him in the system. However, we haven't put him completely out of the combination for the 2011 World Cup. We need to see how the current players perform and position themselves in the team. Jayasuriya and Chaminda Vaas are two players who can come in any moment and do the job as long as they keep themselves fit and keep on paying competitive cricket.

De Silva admitted leaving out former teammates Sanath Jayasuriya and Chaminda Vaas from the current squad had been hard, but said: "Whatever decision you take, you have to do the right thing. I can't see any problem as long as you do it with a clear conscience. I'm sure they will accept what I say for the simple reason that I played with them and they know me well enough to know I would do them no injustice."

Monday, June 28, 2010

Jayasuriya played an unbelievable innings - Andrew Hall

Just days after Sanath Jayasuriya blasted his way to 87 as Worcester eased their way to a nine-wicket win over Northamptonshire Steelbacks to end their run of six successive defeats, the Steelbacks captain Andrew Hall praised the Sri Lankan Legend.

"On Friday night Sanath Jayasuriya played an unbelievable innings against us, the world-class player that he is," said Hall.

"He took that game away from us and we really didn't have an answer to the way he was hitting the ball.

Jayasuriya mainly contributed in the Royals win smashing 87 off 45 balls which saw him hit 10 fours and five sixes.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Sanath Jayasuriya smashes 87 leading Worcester to a comprehensive win

IN A SPIN: Sanath Jayasuriya shows his value with the ball before leading Worcestershire to a convincing nine-wicket victory over Northamptonshire with 87 at New Road.

Sanath Jayasuriya rolled back the years to guide Worcestershire Royals to their first Friends Provident t20 North Group victory in seven matches.

The 40-year-old Sri Lankan legend blasted his way to 87 as the New Road side eased their way to a nine-wicket win over Northamptonshire Steelbacks to end their run of six successive defeats.

While the County remain bottom of the group, the manner of the success, ach-ieved on a balmy night at headquarters, will have undoubtedly boosted their confidence ahead of Sunday’s clash with Derbyshire Falcons (2.30pm).

But this night belonged to the ‘Master Blaster,’ who in just four days will turn 41. Having only scored 21 runs in his three previous innings, Jayasuriya smashed his way to a 28-ball 50, which included hitting Jack Brookes for two fours and three sixes in one over before firing Elton Chigumbura for 30 in another.

His partnership with Australian Phil Jaques had, in previous matches, looked a shaky one, but having suffered their heaviest ever defeat in this competition on Tuesday night at Yorkshire Carnegie, Worcestershire bounced back in superb style.

Jayasuriya’s innings came to an end as he was caught on the boundary by David Willey off Nicky Boje for 87 off 45 balls which saw him hit 10 fours and five sixes, while Jaques hit a season’s Twenty20 best of 47 as he played the supporting role to his partner’s pyrotechnics.

The County had seemed to have been set a testing target of 141 after the Steelbacks 140-5, but Jayasuriya made a mockery of that and showed why Worcestershire brought him to New Road.

Moeen Ali and Jack Shantry shone with the ball for the Royals as they put in one of their better displays in the field.

Off-spinner Moeen was the pick of the County attack as he claimed career-best figures of 3-25 which included two wickets in two balls to remove opener Niall O’Brien for 34 and David Sales for five with a superb catch from youngster Jack Manuel.

But it was the miserly Shantry who had set the tone from the start. His opening three overs went for just six runs and included a maiden in the first.

His spell also saw former County star Chaminda Vaas run out for five by James Cameron, who had put the Sri Lankan down twice in the corresponding fixture.

However, director of cricket Steve Rhodes would have been concerned that his two senior seamers Gareth Andrew and Richard Jones saw their five overs go for 60 between them.

Zimbabawe international Chigumbura was the pick of the Steelbacks batting as he hit 39 off 20 balls including two fours and three sixes.

BBC Radio Northampton's Geoff Doyle:

We wondered whether the wicket was a bit sticky and doing a bit whilst Northants were batting as they didn't quite fire.

But Jayasuriya showed off his supreme class to prove that the wicket was just fine.

A masterclass from the veteran and Northants couldn't handle him. It was a pleasure to witness it.

Northants head coach David Capel told BBC Radio Northampton:

"We posted 140 and that was an inadequate total. Sanath Jayasuriya made it look inadequate. It was an exceptional display.

"There were quite a few dot balls in our first six overs, and we didn't score enough runs.

"Although Elton Chigumbura did well, it took us until the 17th over to get past 100. That's not our target. We want to get there after 12 overs."

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Jayasuriya felicitates Afridi for world record

Sri Lanka’s 40-year-old all rounder Sanath Jayasuriya earned the name of the pinch hitter at the 1996 World Cup. He was unaware until this scribe told him that his world record of most sixes in career was broken by Pakistani captain Shahid Afridi on Monday. 

Speaking from Worcester where he was preparing to play the Day / Night Twenty20 match for the English county, he said, “Oh, is it so ? I am happy to learn that my record is being broken in my own country”. In his 20 year of ODI career, Sanath Jayasuriya hit 270 sixes in 444 matches. 

Afridi, playing his 296th ODI (148 matches less than SJ) against Bangladesh in Dambulla (Asia Cup) has two sixes more to his credit. “It is up to the individual’s skill and I have no regrets on this,” he further added. In January 2009, during the first ODI against India, he became the second man to cross 13,000 ODI runs. 

In February, Jayasuriya became the MP for his home town Matara standing for the United People’s Freedom Alliance party.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

[PIC] Jayasuriya in Worcestershire colours

Sanath Jayasuriya poses for a photograph wearing his Worcestershire Royals jersey. The 40 year old veteran is currently playing for Worcestershire in the Friends Provident T20 tournament.

Another failure for Jayasuriya and Worcestershire

Sanath Jayasuriya bettered his two runs off three balls in his Worcestershire debut with nine runs off 12 balls against Derbyshire today.

The 40 year old veteran who was expected to reverse Worcestershire's fortunes could not prevent his side from slumping to their fifth consecutive defeat in the Friends Provident T20 - North Group.

Worcestershire finished their 20 overs with 127/7 which Derbyshire surpassed in the final over.

Jayasuriya picked up his first wicket of the tournament when Wes Durston hit the ball straight back to him. He finished with figures of 1/26 in four overs.


Worcestershire innings: 127/7 (20overs) MM Ali 67, AN Kervezee 17.
Derbyshire bowling: CK Langeveldt 2/19, WJ Durston 2/18.

Derbyshire innings: 128/4 (19.2 overs) GT Park 41, LL Bosman 34.
Worcestershire bowling: MM Ali 2/14, ST Jayasuriya 1/26.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Jayasuriya is hoping to learn from short stay

Sanath Jayasuriya is looking to make the most of his County stint.

In a team that lacks experience, Worcestershire’s youngsters can turn to a man who has done it all in the world of cricket.

Capped 440 times by Sri Lanka in one-day internationals — only India’s Sachin Tendulkar has represented his country more — Sanath Jayasuriya has had a career most can only dream of.

The 40-year-old made his debut for his country way back in December 1989 — before New Road youngsters Jack Manuel and Ben Cox were even born.

But even in the twilight of his career and a surprise omission from the Sri Lanka squad for the on-going Asia Cup, Jayasuriya has not given up hope of returning to the international fold and is looking to impress during his short-stay at Worcestershire.

“This is an opportunity for me to get back into the side,” the 1996 World Cup-winner said. “I need to work hard on my game with both the ball and the bat, then hopefully I can get another opportunity with the Sri Lanka team.

“I didn’t play that well in the World Twenty20 tournament and that is why I missed out on the Asia Cup.

“There isn’t much time left in my cricket career — I just take it series by series — if I can do well in one then I hope that I can get another opportunity.”

Jayasuriya focuses on trying to earn a recall to his national side that he has represented a staggering 580 times in all forms of the sport.

With players in the Royals side barely able to walk when the ‘Master Blaster’ began his career, there is plenty of experience for the Worcestershire stars to tap into.

“I want to share my experience from playing a lot of one-day and Twenty20 cricket and go and enjoy our cricket,” Jayasuriya said.

“Twenty20 is an exciting game, but at the same time it is not easy. I have played enough and hopefully I can use that to help the players.”

Jayasuriya says that he has not spoken to his compatriots Chaminda Vaas or Dilhara Fernando, who also played for the New Road side, about his move to Worcestershire. But the veteran is hoping that he can take a lot from his short stay with the County.

“Hopefully I can take my experiences from playing here back to Sri Lanka,” he said.

“Everyday you learn something in this game — even now, playing with the youngsters here I will learn something.”

With his sporting career on the final straight, the explosive batsman, who also bowls tidy slow left-arm spin, has recently been elected as a member of the Sri Lankan parliament.

In February, Jayasuriya became the MP for his home town Matara standing for the United People’s Freedom Alliance party.

“The country’s president (Mahinda Rajapaksa) wanted me to go back to my home town and work for my people who live there,” Jayasuriya said.

“They needed someone from that area to help, I got that opportunity and I was elected.

“I must thank them for having faith in me and I have to look after them.”

‘Door is not shut on Jayasuriya’ - Aravinda

The last time Australia went home without the World Cup was way back in 1996 and it was the enigmatic legend of Aravinda de Silva that spoilt the party for Mark Taylor and Co. As Sri Lanka commence their journey to regain the title, Aravinda is wearing a crucial hat that of the chairman of the selection committee. The maverick batsman settled for a elucidate chat.


Q: Asian teams have not been able to recreate the magic after winning the World Cup. How do you see this?

A: In international cricket, it's not only about talent. Commitment and discipline also play a major part deciding success. Talent has also got to be carefully nurtured. Many good players are coming through but it is the attitude towards the game that has to be right.

Q: What is your take on the Aussie dominance coming to an end and their chances in the 2011 World Cup?

A: Recent results suggest that they have slipped a bit. They have also lost a group of good players and that can hit any team hard. Having said that they are still a good team. Other teams especially from the sub-continent have started playing better. As all major teams have been visiting Asia often these days they are used to the slow surfaces and heat and know what to expect. Frequent trips by the sides have also helped them do well here. Australia, South Africa and England all have a good chance of winning the title.

Q: Kumar Sangakkara had recently said the selection committee has to ruthless. As chief selector how close are you to picking the final combination for the World Cup? Is Sanath Jayasuriya still in contention?

A: Yes, we have to be ruthless at times in order to get the best combination. It's our duty to give the players all the confidence before a major tournament. Everyone knows what Sanath is capable of. The door is not shut on him, not on anyone for that matter. There is still time left for the World Cup and performance will be sole criterion for selection.

Q: Looks like T20 is taking over other formats, Does Test cricket and ODIs have a chance to survive?

A: It’s important for all three formats to do well. T20 provides the money and it cannot be overlooked. With proper planning by the administrators all three formats can co-exist. There is scope and space for that to materialise. Players will have to make the required adjustments. And with what we have seen in the last three seasons, the players don’t seem to have a problem.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Jayasuriya fails in his debut match for Worcestershire

SANATH Jayasuriya’s debut at New Road was rather like his new team’s performance — a damp squib.

The Sri Lankan legend faced only three balls in the first over for Worcestershire Royals and bowled four wicketless overs as they slumped to their fourth consecutive Friends Provident t20 North Group defeat in a half empty ground.

Rivals Warwickshire Bears eased their way to a nine-wicket victory with 22 balls to spare on a drizzly night at County headquarters.

But it was not just Jayasuriya who under performed last night — it was a disaster from start to finish for the Royals as they slumped to 10-3 by the end of the second over before limping through to 118-9 at the end.

Had it not been for the efforts of Phil Jaques and 19-year-old Jack Manuel things would have been a whole lot worse for Steve Rhodes’ side.

The Australian opener fired 29 off 23 balls to give the Royals a slight air of respectability before he was trapped lbw by the leg-breaks of Imran Tahir.

Manuel, who made his debut at Northamptonshire Steelbacks opening with Jaques, looked more assured coming in down the order and he hit the only six of the Royals' innings on his way to 31.

The Royals, desperate to boost their tally, tried some pointless runs that saw both Ben Scott, in his final home match for Worcestershire before returning to Middlesex next week, and Richard Jones run out in the last over.

Despite a blistering start from England star Jonathan Trott, Alan Richardson made the breakthrough against his former club in the third over as Neil Carter looked to drive him out the ground only to edge the 35-year-old to Jaques at first slip for one.

But Trott, left out of England’s World Twenty20 winning squad, continued the onslaught as he reached his 50 off just 35 balls and was unbeaten on 72 at the end with Darren Maddy 44 not out.

Friday, June 18, 2010

The great Sanath Jayasuriya : reaching the end of the road

Left out of the Sri Lankan squad for the Asian Cup, one of the greatest one day international careers could well have reached the end of the road. Andrew Hughes looks back at the career of Sanath Jayasuriya.

On Friday, less than a fortnight before his forty-first birthday, Sanath Jayasuriya will make his debut for Worcestershire in the Friends Provident T20. Whilst this is a boost for the hapless Royals (currently around 66.0 to win the competition) it is something of a come down for a man once regarded as the most dangerous one day batsman in the world. He joins Worcestershire as a replacement for Aussie youngster Steven Smith and is only available because he it seems he is no longer required by his country, having been left out of Sri Lanka's Asian Cup squad, a tournament for which they are 2.74 second favourites.

It looks as though this is the end of what has been an extraordinary international cricket career. He had expressed a desire to take part in next year's World Cup, but the writing was on the wall in January when Sri Lankan coach Trevor Bayliss said Jayasuriya would no longer be selected as an opener and would have to earn his place as a spin bowling all-rounder. Those who have watched his struggles in the last two Twenty20 World Cups will have seen that the reflexes have gone, the hand-eye coordination has deserted him and by carrying on, he can only tarnish his considerable reputation.
So if this is the end of the international road, how will we look back on Jayasuriya's career? One aspect of his career that is often overlooked is just how effective a Test match player he was. He retired from Test cricket at the end of 2007, with an average of a little over forty and a top score of 340. It was after this innings, against India back in 1997, that Sachin Tendulkar was moved to say that he had not seen a better batsman in his career till that point. Compliments don't come much bigger than that.
Yet there is no doubt that Jayasuriya will be best remembered as a limited overs superstar. He has played more one day internationals than any other player in the history of the game and scored more runs in that format than anyone bar Tendulkar. Though he made a slow start, taking forty games to notch his first half-century, when he moved up to open the innings during the 1996 World Cup his career took off in spectacular fashion.
Jayasuriya is credited with revolutionising the way that teams played in the fifty over format. Taking advantage of the new fielding restrictions, he set about bowlers with hitherto unforeseen ferocity. But unlike many of the over-promoted sloggers who attempted to imitate him, he was a genuine batting talent. And he could bowl too. A Test match bowling average of 34.34 is pretty impressive and his nagging left arm spin stifled many a batsman. He remains the only player to score 10,000 runs and take 300 wickets in one day internationals.
But stats can't really communicate the full effect of watching Jayasuriya bat. Forget the Sanath of 2010, go back and watch him in his pomp at the 1996 World Cup. He destroyed bowling attacks, his quick hands and powerful forearms slamming through the ball with lacerating cut shots and brutal pulls. Any width at all was punished with ferocious relish. It didn't matter how many men were on the boundary, he would clear them. Like Virender Sehwag, he was an instinctive force of nature and he deserves to be considered amongst the most exciting batsmen who have ever played the game.

Jayasuriya out to lift County Twenty20 bid

SANATH JAYASURIYA: All set to make his Worcestershire debut against Warwickshire.

SANATH Jayasuriya has landed at New Road determined to use his 21-year international experience to kick-start Worcestershire Royals’ stuttering Friends Provident t20 North Group campaign.
The Sri Lankan legend goes straight into the side to face Warwickshire Bears this afternoon (4.40pm) at County headquarters.
The 40-year-old is likely to bat at the top of the order after skipper Vikram Solanki was ruled out with a pelvis injury.
Jayasuriya, who will play a minimum of seven matches for Steve Rhodes’ side, has a wealth of experience in limited over cricket.
With 1,785 Twenty20 runs to his name in 82 matches, Jayasuriya has played in all three World Twenty20 tournaments and in the Indian Premier League.
That experience will be vital for Worcestershire having suffered three successive defeats last week.
“Everyone wants to do well when you play your local rivals, it is going to be a tough game but one that we can enjoy,” said Jayasuriya.
“The big club games back home are really tough and it will be a similar against Warwickshire.
“Having played for more than 20 years I want to share my experiences with the youngsters in the dressing room and I’m looking forward to playing alongside them.”
With Solanki out injured, the veteran of 444 one-day internationals says the Royals team will have to work that little bit harder.
Solanki missed the final two games of last week with youngster Jack Manuel replacing the County captain.
Worcestershire have also seen Steve Smith join up with the Australia one-day side and had all-rounder Gareth Andrew ruled out for a week with a back injury.
“It is a big blow for the team that Vikram is out,” the Sri Lankan said.
Rhodes is likely to retain England Under 19 international Manuel in the starting XI given that the injuries to Solanki and Andrew mean the Royals will be missing vital runs at both ends of the innings. The 19-year-old, who went to New Zealand for last winter’s Under 19 World Cup, is expected to come in down the order with the County chief expected to name three seamers.
The Bears will be on a high after their five-wicket victory over Nottinghamshire Outlaws and have only lost one of their five group matches.
Worcestershire Royals (from): Jaques, Jayasuriya, Moeen, Kervezee, Mitchell (capt), Cameron, Manuel, Scott (wkt), Jones, Richardson, Shantry, Imran. 

Jayasuriya aims to stop Worcs T20 losing run

Sanath Jayasuriya is confident he can help his new Worcestershire team-mates turn around their FP t20 campaign.
Speaking on his arrival at New Road, the Sri Lanka star was looking forward to getting into the action in the home game against old rivals Warwickshire.
"Unfortunately, the boys have not done well in the last few matches, so we need to do well in this one," he said.
"If you enjoy your cricket, then you will perform. So, I hope the boys will come out and play their natural game."
After an encouraging win over Yorkshire Carnegie in their opening game of the T20 this season, Worcestershire have since lost four successive matches.
Jayasuriya has arrived at New Road as a replacement for the Australian all-rounder Steve Smith whose international commitments meant his stay with Worcestershire was a brief one.
The Sri Lanka star is a keen fan of the T20 format and feels it has become increasingly important to the top players.
"If you look at the IPL, it is a big tournament in India and the boys have been playing really good cricket," he told BBC Hereford and Worcester.
"At the same time the cricketers can earn some good money.
"T20 has a big role to play at the moment as far as the players are concerned," he said.
Jayasuriya is of the view that players are starting to adapt to the shortest form of the game and the different skills that are needed to be successful in T20 cricket.
"Basically, it is a batsman's game but it is sometimes tough for the batsmen, too," he said.
"The bowlers are getting sharper and they need to bowl yorkers really well.
"So the bowlers are getting sharper and they are improving every day," he added.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Uncle Percy escorts Jayasuriya at the IIFA Cricket match

Sanath Jayasuriya walks back after his dismissal during a charity cricket match between Indian Bollywood actors and Sri Lankan cricketers during the three-day International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) awards events in Colombo on June 4, 2010. Bollywood actors have flocked to Sri Lanka for the June 3-5 IIFA awards and surrounding events being held in Colombo. Percy Abeysekera is seen behind Jayasuriya holding the Sri Lankan flag and escorting him back to the pavilion in his customary style. The flag wielding Percy has escorted batsmen off Sri Lankan grounds for over three decades and has secured his own place in Sri Lankan Cricket history. 

Source: Island Cricket

Jayasuriya's experience vital for Worcestershire Royals

WORCESTERSHIRE captain Vikram Solanki has been sidelined for up to four weeks with an injury to his pelvis.

Solanki is expected to be replaced at the top of the Royals’ batting order by new overseas signing Sanath Jayasuriya.

The Sri Lankan legend is expected to arrive tomorrow and is likely to go straight into the side for Friday’s derby clash with Warwickshire Bears (4.40pm) at New Road.

The arrival of the 40-year-old could not have come at a better time for director of cricket Steve Rhodes following three successive Twenty20 defeats.

“With no Vikram in the side we have got an ideal international class opening batsman to come in who can also bowl some left-arm spin,” Rhodes said.

“Sanath might be the shake-up we need with the batting and give us some sparkle.
“I think Sanath himself will admit that he has got something to prove, having been left out of the Sri Lankan set-up for the Asia Cup.”

The experience of Jayasur-iya will be vital to the Royals following the loss of Solanki, but also the departure of Australian leg-spinning all-rounder Steve Smith.

Jayasuriya dropped for 2010 Asia Cup

Sanath Jayasuriya has been dropped from Sri Lanka's Asia Cup squad by the new selection panel headed by Aravinda de Silva.
The 40 year old veteran who is also an MP in Sri Lanka's parliament has been out of form and has only managed to score more than 50 runs once in his last 16 ODI matches. Twenty20 cricket has been no better for Jayasuriya, his last half century was back in June 2009 during the ICC World Twenty20 in England.
Speaking to the press on Jayasuriya's omission, Aravinda de Silva said: "We left Jayasuriya out on form."
Sri Lanka's Mystery Spinner, Ajantha Mendis, has also been dropped. With just five wickets in his four games at the recently concluded tri-series in Zimbabwe, the ineffective Mendis has been replaced with the inclusion of left arm spinner Rangana Herath.

Herath played his last ODI for Sri Lanka in 2004 but has been a regular in Sri Lanka's Test side.
Muttiah Muralitharan, meanwhile, has made a return to the side after a groin injury he picked up during the 2010 ICC World Twenty20 in the Caribbean and resumes his role as vice captain.
Centurion from the recently concluded Zimbabwe tri-series Dinesh Chandimal and all-rounder Thissara Perera will miss the Asia Cup having been selected for an A-team tour to Australia.
Dinesh Chandimal, Chamara Kapugedera, Lahiru Thirimanne, Thilina Kandamby, Jeevan Mendis and Farveez Maharoof were originally named in a Sri Lanka A-team squad for a tour to Australia in June.
However, Kandamby and Maharoof have since been included to the Asia Cup squad. While Chamara Silva and Thissara Perera have been named as their replacement for the A-team tour to Australia.
Squad: Kumar Sangakkara (captain/wicket-keeper), Muttiah Muralitharan (vice-captain), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Upul Tharanga, Mahela Jayawardene, Thilan Samaraweera, Angelo Mathews, Farveez Maharoof, Chamara Kapugedara, Nuwan Kulasekara, Chanaka Welegedara, Lasith Malinga, Suraj Randiv, Rangana Herath, Thilina Kandamby.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Jayasuriya playing perfect host to Vivek Oberoi

Bollywood actor Vivek Oberoi is all praise for Sri Lankan cricketer Sanath Jayasuriya, who has been showing him around in this capital city.

"Well, ever since I have landed here, I have bonded really well with Sanath. We have been hanging out together and he is showing me around. He is great company and I am having the time of my life here," said Vivek.

There was a charity cricket match between Bollywood celebrities and the Sri Lankan cricket team here on Friday as part of the ongoing International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) awards event and Vivek dropped in to cheer both sides.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Sanath Jayasuriya at IIFA Charity Cricket Match 2010

Bollywood actor Sunil Shetty, left, and Sri Lankan cricketer Muttiah Muralitharan chats as Sanath jayasuriya looks on during a charity cricket match between IFFA XI and Sangakkara's XI as part of the three-day long International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) awards in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Friday, June 4, 2010. Some of India's top movie stars converged in Sri Lanka on Thursday for Bollywood's annual roadshow despite calls to boycott the event because of the alleged killing of Tamil civilians during the final stages of the country's decades-long civil war.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Jayasuriya & Sangakkara are Bollywood movie buffs

Kumar Sangakkara, current captain of the Sri Lankan Cricket team, opined that the IIFA 2010 Awards, that would be held in Colombo, is a “big opportunity” to promote Sri Lanka in Bollywood and building a better relationship between two countries.

He said to a media, “Bollywood is a great hit in Sri Lanka and all over the world. I think everyone in the world has sat up and taken notice of how big Bollywood is, how attractive it is and how talented the stars are.”

Kumar Sangakkara who is also the captain of Preity Zinta's IPL (IPL) team, Kings XI Punjab, said that Bollywood actors’ presence will create lots of excitement among the people of Sri Lanka.
Sangakkara, who is a wicket keeper and left handed batsman is also a big Bollywood movie fan. He first saw Mani Ratnam’s super hit movie, Bombay, which stars Arvind Swamy and Manisha Koirala. His other favorite movies are- Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India, Monsoon Wedding, Water. Sangakkara likes these films because they carry a message.

Aamir Khan, Salman Khan and Sahrukh Khan are the favorite Bollywood actors of Sangakkara. He also likes Om Puri and Naseeruddin Shah. He also likes Bollywood actresses. Sangakkara would like to see Aishwarya Rai Bachchan perform in IIFA 2010.

The IIFA Awards 2010 will take place in Colombo starting fromJune 3, 2010 to June 5, 2010. In between, there will be a friendly cricket match between Indian celebrities and Sri Lankan cricketers. The money collected will be used in rehabilitating former LTTE child soldiers. A village for 100 families will be built. The children will be re-educated, rehabilitated.

Sanath Jayasuriya, another Sri Lankan all-rounder cricketer, said, “It's a big opportunity to promote Sri Lanka among the film fraternity here. Sri Lankans are very big fans of Bollywood and the film industry is very popular in Sri Lanka,……Sri Lankans are looking forward to this big event. It's nice for our country and good for the relations between the two countries.”

Jayasuriya saw few Shahrukh Khan movies on local channels. He likes Shahrukh Khan very much and never misses his movies.
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