December 6, 2007

Journeyman and genius

Jayasuriya's significance is not statistical, though heaven knows that at the high points of his career he climbed peaks never attempted by more consistent players
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When Sanath Jayasuriya announced his retirement from Test cricket in the course of the first Test against England, the way he signed off was nicely representative of his extraordinary career. He failed in the first innings with the bat, then hit a quick 78 in the second innings. As a bonus in the second innings, Jayasuriya took a wicket with his slow left-arm spin.

A fifty and a wicket: useful but not remarkable figures…unless you know that 24 of those 78 runs had been scored in a single over off that blameless swing bowler, James Anderson. Jayasuriya's career statistics--his aggregates, his averages, his centuries, the number of wickets he took--give the same impression: they suggest a more than useful player, not a remarkable one. They lie.

In a career that spanned eighteen years, Jayasuriya played, in the idiom of Hindi films, an extraordinary double role: journeyman and genius. He was a useful bits-and-pieces player, fielding alertly, chipping in with the odd wicket (he took 98 wickets in 109 Test matches) scoring the necessary fifty (he had 31 half-centuries to his name); he was also, in his fearsome prime, the most destructive opening batsman in the world.

Sri Lankan cricket over the turn of the century resembles nothing as much as the great Bombay multi-starrers of the Eighties. It's a romance with three outsiders as leading men: Arjuna Ranatunga, Muttiah Muralitharan and Sanath Jayasuriya. None of them belonged to the tiny elite that dominated cricket in their country. Murali, the Tamil from Kandy, Ranatunga, the man who became captain despite not having attended St Thomas and Royal, the two public school nurseries of Sri Lankan cricket and finally, Jayasuriya, the maverick from Matara who re-invented himself as a player in mid-career and in the process changed the nature of batsmanship.

It might seem odd to bracket Jayasuriya with Muralitharan, a man who has broken nearly every bowling record in the book, and who has a real claim to being regarded as the greatest bowler in the history of the game. Jaysuriya's batting average in Test matches is in the region of 40 and in the limited overs game it hovers in the low thirties, decent figures but scarcely a claim to cricketing immortality.

And yet Jayasuriya was the most significant batsman of the fin de siecle, historically more important than Sachin Tendulkar or Brian Lara or Ricky Ponting. Glenn McGrath, no friend of Sri Lankan cricket had this to say of him: "…it is always a massive compliment to someone to say they changed the game, and his storming innings in the 1996 World Cup changed everyone's thinking about how to start innings."

Jayasuriya's significance is not statistical, though heaven knows that at the high points of his career he climbed peaks never attempted by more consistent players. He is a landmark in the history of the game because he was a successful heretic, the Martin Luther of modern cricket. He made the rules of orthodox batsmanship (getting to the pitch, getting in line, playing along the ground and that holiest of holies, playing with a straight bat) seem overstated and dogmatic.

Jayasuriya needed to play away from his body because he routinely hit balls wide of him on the up; he played with his bat at an angle of forty-five degrees because he was not trying to show the whole face to the ball, he intended to hit it with an angled blade and he used eye, timing and powerful forearms to get elevation and power. Jayasuriya's batting stance has been hugely influential. The classical stance had the feet six inches apart: Jayasuriya stance has his feet more like two feet apart. He didn't so much go forward or back as shift weight, rocking on to the back foot for the cut and the pull or crooking his front leg to drive, flick or pull on the up. He played like a batter in baseball: if the ball was in the hitting zone, there or thereabouts, it had to go.

What's more, he did this in Test cricket as an opening batsman, with a triple century against India in Colombo in 1997 and that magnificent double century against England at The Oval in 1998 which, as much as Muralitharan's bowling, won them the Test match. It was one of the great attacking innings in the history of Test cricket, played as it was to force a result in limited time. It was Jayasuriya's success in proving that his unorthodox methods worked in both ODIs and the more demanding context of Test cricket that paved the way for players like Virender Sehwag and Adam Gilchrist: that's the real significance of McGrath's tribute.

More than most batsmen, Jayasuriya's technique reflected the way the game had changed. He was one of the main conduits through which the lessons in attacking batsmanship taught by the one day game were channelled into Test cricket. His technique took full advantage of the physical immunity that modern helmets lent batsmen. He hooked firm-footed or off the front foot without going back and across because the old fear of mortal injury that had been hard-wired into the heads of an earlier generation of opening batsmen vanished from the minds of contemporary players. And the astonishing power of modern bats was tailor-made for Jayasuriya's game: those short arm pulls that would have once steepled into waiting hands, now cleared the ropes.

There were better batsman than Jayasuriya during his time in international cricket and there will be many better ones in the future, but for the cricket historian he will remain that rare player who embodied a turning point in the game. As the twentieth century gave way to the twenty first, the art of batting was transformed and for a brief but critical period--say from 1996 to the end of the century--Jayasuriya was at the cutting edge of change.

This was published in the Telegraph, Kolkata.

Mukul Kesavan is a writer based in New Delhi

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Sampson on May 20, 2008, 8:22 GMT

    Considering his unbelievable performance in Indian Premier League in India, he should be recalled for Test Squad again. His wonderful batting performance in IPL has made people wonder why he is not playing test matches for Sri Lanka. He made 48 balls 114 not out with 11 sixes and 9 Fours against Chennai and wondering all the Cricket Fans all over the world. His amazing forearms power to hit the ball for SIX and his veteran all-round performance has lead the IPL more colorful. Now he has more records in IPL Twenty 20. Most strike rate Most Sixes Most runs in BOUNDRIES. No anyother Sri Lanken Test playing Batsman like Mahela ,Sanga,Chamara or Upul Tharanga were able to play like Jayasuriya. Considering his wonderful POWER and PERFORMANCE in IPL in India he should be RECALLED for Sri lanken Test TEAM.

  • sachin kapoor on February 4, 2008, 8:11 GMT

    great, superb, best batsman, fantastic, best player in all kinds of sport. I madly watch his all innings,if anyone ask what is your last wish, i say just once i want to see sanath's 189 once more. he is master player. i hope the best of sanath will come on this australia tour.

  • Mike A Archer on January 7, 2008, 17:09 GMT

    I just cannot understand why it is so difficult to introduce challenges to the umpire's rulings. All you have to do is allow for two per innings by each team - if the challenge is unsuccessful you lose the right to the second challenge so you carefully pick your challenges based on the batsman or fieldsman certainty. You wd not lose any more time than when someone is hurt or the over rate slow or any other delaying intervention. WHAT IS THE PROBLEM? Why do people find it so difficult to accept change? The tennis challenges work beautifully.

  • Ravi on January 6, 2008, 16:12 GMT

    India needs to boycott the remaining 2 tests by not playing Sachin, Saurav, VVS, Kumble and Rahul. This would be a good way of protesting the umpiring decisions and Aussie attitude. The crowds come to watch these great players and India should respond by not playing them, to teach Aussies a lesson. I had so much respect for the aussies and now, I feel that this present team under Ponting does not deserve any respect. They are bringing the game of cricket to disgrace.

  • rogue on January 6, 2008, 10:19 GMT

    It is apparant to me that the jealousy of some Indians is descending to levels even low for Indians. It is funny how they can never praise a cricketer other than their own. But yet when someones praises Sanath's acheivements they are all too ready to give credit to New Zealanders. The point of all of this is that Sanath was the most attacking batsman who maintaned consistancy in his style for such a long time. By the way his first test hundred was as no.1 batsmen against austrailia in adelaide. He was not a batsmen who like Sachin just wanted to raise his avarage by scoring runs in a pointless and selfish manner. Do Indians remember his contnous thrashing of them including his 180+ in Shajah where he again captured 4 wcts and bowled India out for less than 100 runs. He is the only player in ODI history to score 10000+ runs and get 300+ wickets so there!

  • rogue on January 6, 2008, 10:13 GMT

    It is apparant to me that the jealousy of some Indians is descending to levels even low for Indians. It is funny how they can never praise a cricketer other than their own. But yet when someones praises Sanath's acheivements they are all too ready to give credit to New Zealanders. The point of all of this is that Sanath was the most attacking batsman who maintaned consistancy in his style for such a long time. By the way his first test hundred was as no.1 batsmen against austrailia in adelaide. He was not a batsmen who like Sachin just wanted to raise his avarage by scoring runs in a pointless and selfish manner. Do Indians remember his contnous thrashing of them including his 180+ in Shajah where he again captured 4 wcts and bowled India out for less than 100 runs. He is the only player in ODI history to score 10000+ runs and get 300+ wickets so there!

  • Kumaran on December 16, 2007, 5:23 GMT

    Great post on a gem of a player, the likes of whom we would be hard pressed to find again in cricket.

  • Awas on December 15, 2007, 11:40 GMT

    Those predicting 5-0 and 3-0 victories for India were dreaming. Even against the weakest Pakistan team ever further marred by illness and injuries, India was only just about a better side. The third test draw was of India’s own making though. A slightly earlier declaration would have given them another victory.

    The series was generally fought without any major incidents. However it was a real disappointment to see the like of Kumble behave with Yousaf the way he did. Yousaf, as we all know is such a mild mannered person who can’t even hurt a fly even if he tried. So, it was quite surprising to see Kumble acting in that manner and has surly dented his “clean cut” image.

    One other big disappointment was India’s ungamely vociferous appealing at everything that hit the pads which was really putting-off the Umpires. It made even Ian Bishop mention that such appealing would have affected a weaker umpire. This is best illustrated with a picture posted at www.cricketfiles.com

  • rext on December 13, 2007, 7:39 GMT

    I agree! He was a good player. No Gilchrist and short of being great, as many have better averages overall. Any rational comparison has him near the elite, second eleven perhaps. Maybe he stands out when compared to his mediocre team mates, but he's been good to watch and seems a nice guy.

  • Eranga on December 13, 2007, 5:06 GMT

    I'm very thankful to Mukul for his great BLOG and specialy writing about Great Sri Lanken Cricketer even though Mukul is not a sri lanken. I beleive Writers like Mukul is very important to keep the Criket as a Gentlemant's Game.

    And further more I'm thankful commentors like John Lennon writing true from the over the world.

    I liked Jayasuriya first because of of his STROKES but later beause of his qualities as ahumble and wonderful human being

  • Sampson on May 20, 2008, 8:22 GMT

    Considering his unbelievable performance in Indian Premier League in India, he should be recalled for Test Squad again. His wonderful batting performance in IPL has made people wonder why he is not playing test matches for Sri Lanka. He made 48 balls 114 not out with 11 sixes and 9 Fours against Chennai and wondering all the Cricket Fans all over the world. His amazing forearms power to hit the ball for SIX and his veteran all-round performance has lead the IPL more colorful. Now he has more records in IPL Twenty 20. Most strike rate Most Sixes Most runs in BOUNDRIES. No anyother Sri Lanken Test playing Batsman like Mahela ,Sanga,Chamara or Upul Tharanga were able to play like Jayasuriya. Considering his wonderful POWER and PERFORMANCE in IPL in India he should be RECALLED for Sri lanken Test TEAM.

  • sachin kapoor on February 4, 2008, 8:11 GMT

    great, superb, best batsman, fantastic, best player in all kinds of sport. I madly watch his all innings,if anyone ask what is your last wish, i say just once i want to see sanath's 189 once more. he is master player. i hope the best of sanath will come on this australia tour.

  • Mike A Archer on January 7, 2008, 17:09 GMT

    I just cannot understand why it is so difficult to introduce challenges to the umpire's rulings. All you have to do is allow for two per innings by each team - if the challenge is unsuccessful you lose the right to the second challenge so you carefully pick your challenges based on the batsman or fieldsman certainty. You wd not lose any more time than when someone is hurt or the over rate slow or any other delaying intervention. WHAT IS THE PROBLEM? Why do people find it so difficult to accept change? The tennis challenges work beautifully.

  • Ravi on January 6, 2008, 16:12 GMT

    India needs to boycott the remaining 2 tests by not playing Sachin, Saurav, VVS, Kumble and Rahul. This would be a good way of protesting the umpiring decisions and Aussie attitude. The crowds come to watch these great players and India should respond by not playing them, to teach Aussies a lesson. I had so much respect for the aussies and now, I feel that this present team under Ponting does not deserve any respect. They are bringing the game of cricket to disgrace.

  • rogue on January 6, 2008, 10:19 GMT

    It is apparant to me that the jealousy of some Indians is descending to levels even low for Indians. It is funny how they can never praise a cricketer other than their own. But yet when someones praises Sanath's acheivements they are all too ready to give credit to New Zealanders. The point of all of this is that Sanath was the most attacking batsman who maintaned consistancy in his style for such a long time. By the way his first test hundred was as no.1 batsmen against austrailia in adelaide. He was not a batsmen who like Sachin just wanted to raise his avarage by scoring runs in a pointless and selfish manner. Do Indians remember his contnous thrashing of them including his 180+ in Shajah where he again captured 4 wcts and bowled India out for less than 100 runs. He is the only player in ODI history to score 10000+ runs and get 300+ wickets so there!

  • rogue on January 6, 2008, 10:13 GMT

    It is apparant to me that the jealousy of some Indians is descending to levels even low for Indians. It is funny how they can never praise a cricketer other than their own. But yet when someones praises Sanath's acheivements they are all too ready to give credit to New Zealanders. The point of all of this is that Sanath was the most attacking batsman who maintaned consistancy in his style for such a long time. By the way his first test hundred was as no.1 batsmen against austrailia in adelaide. He was not a batsmen who like Sachin just wanted to raise his avarage by scoring runs in a pointless and selfish manner. Do Indians remember his contnous thrashing of them including his 180+ in Shajah where he again captured 4 wcts and bowled India out for less than 100 runs. He is the only player in ODI history to score 10000+ runs and get 300+ wickets so there!

  • Kumaran on December 16, 2007, 5:23 GMT

    Great post on a gem of a player, the likes of whom we would be hard pressed to find again in cricket.

  • Awas on December 15, 2007, 11:40 GMT

    Those predicting 5-0 and 3-0 victories for India were dreaming. Even against the weakest Pakistan team ever further marred by illness and injuries, India was only just about a better side. The third test draw was of India’s own making though. A slightly earlier declaration would have given them another victory.

    The series was generally fought without any major incidents. However it was a real disappointment to see the like of Kumble behave with Yousaf the way he did. Yousaf, as we all know is such a mild mannered person who can’t even hurt a fly even if he tried. So, it was quite surprising to see Kumble acting in that manner and has surly dented his “clean cut” image.

    One other big disappointment was India’s ungamely vociferous appealing at everything that hit the pads which was really putting-off the Umpires. It made even Ian Bishop mention that such appealing would have affected a weaker umpire. This is best illustrated with a picture posted at www.cricketfiles.com

  • rext on December 13, 2007, 7:39 GMT

    I agree! He was a good player. No Gilchrist and short of being great, as many have better averages overall. Any rational comparison has him near the elite, second eleven perhaps. Maybe he stands out when compared to his mediocre team mates, but he's been good to watch and seems a nice guy.

  • Eranga on December 13, 2007, 5:06 GMT

    I'm very thankful to Mukul for his great BLOG and specialy writing about Great Sri Lanken Cricketer even though Mukul is not a sri lanken. I beleive Writers like Mukul is very important to keep the Criket as a Gentlemant's Game.

    And further more I'm thankful commentors like John Lennon writing true from the over the world.

    I liked Jayasuriya first because of of his STROKES but later beause of his qualities as ahumble and wonderful human being

  • mjuw on December 12, 2007, 11:43 GMT

    Many say stats do not reflect Jayasuriya’s significance; perhaps the stats are not viewed in a proper perspective…… Instead of interpreting the stats in the boring old way as aggregates and averages if one strings together the fact that Jayasuriya is unique in achieving 12,000 runs & 300wickets, being the first to make it, forging a landmark to establish his special place in the History of the game...... then again he has graced the feat with 246 Sixes to date!!!, the current world record... and 4 innings of 150!!!, again a record by itself to date...... all the above he still in a ground to better…… pardon me for attempting to draw parallels, but this is a strong a statement as Murali’s legacy as the greatest bowler ever!!!!!!

  • sachin kapoor on December 12, 2007, 8:45 GMT

    sanath is truly a great batsman. i am the biggggggggggggggggggggggggg fan of sanath since 1996. my favourite innings was his 189 against india in sharjah and against england in 2002 in leeds. he is outstanding player.

  • kumar on December 11, 2007, 11:47 GMT

    If God comes in-front of me - I will ask him to take me back to 1996 to watch once again - Sanath & his opening pair Kalu's wonderful batting performance in 1996 & 1997 - I'd love to watch Sanath & Kalu batting once again in life..... It was a wonderful & great moment in my life to watch their batting.........I am always enjoying to remember those olden & golden day's of 96 worldcup matches......

  • kumar on December 11, 2007, 11:23 GMT

    sanath has to play again test cricket or 3rd test against England to complete his 100 wickets & 7000 Runs in his test carrer - pls. re-consider your decision Mr. Sanath - Hope you will fullfil my dreames : - Basicaly i am in India - after 1995 -Oct. its selft i was started to watch SriLanka's match - In 1996 worldcup cricket i am the only suppoter for srilanka & Sanath in my office & my friendship circle. for that i had many mis-understandings with them. But finaly i was happy b'cos my team had won the Wolrdcup & my hero held the Man of the Serias Award....(agains Mark waugh) - it was a sad movement for me in 2002 & 2007 worldcup - In 2002 i taught under Sanath Captancy he will won the worldcup - 2002 & 2007 semi & final matches were spoiled by rain.(Both against Auses) - hope sanath will play 2011 worldcup & Srilanka will win the worldcup. (i am very much confident that sanath will be the first man to score 200 in ODI-that also again Auses in coming Australia Tour. good Luck Sanath..

  • Sudharaka Dhammasena on December 11, 2007, 4:41 GMT

    Mukul Kesavan, you have hit the bull's eye. Jayasuriya is your typical guy next door, yet he managed to revolutionized the game of one day cricket. If it hadn't been for him, T20 cricket wouldn't have happened even. It's more about the man, his conduct and his passion for the game, rather than the stats alone.

  • kirby on December 10, 2007, 17:11 GMT

    Mahesh: In case you were referring to my comment about SL schools, I was not trying to tie race & ethnicity with how well SL players perform..I was merely pointing out some of the players backgrounds & did not have any hidden agenda/s.. Cannuck: Thanks..You're correct..I made a mistake - didn't read that properly about Sidath Pasqual.. Chits: You're so right regarding your post about Arjuna..This selfless man that wasn't ashamed of being a true Sri Lankan and wasn't afraid to speak his mind..A lot of folks hated him for this attribute, unfortunately..As some elite Sri Lankans are ashamed or embarrassed to converse in Tamil or Sinhala, don't like wearing traditional Sri Lankan attire (they think that is for those who can't speak English and/or those that live in villages) and generally have a negative self-image of themselves..Commonly referred to in SL as "kalu suddas".. & thnx for pointing out that Arjuna is from Gampaha & not from the "ruling elite" as someone pointed out here..

  • John Lennon on December 10, 2007, 7:41 GMT

    I have known Sanath Jayasuriya before he became a star in world cricket. A humble and wonderful human being. He is a great cricketer and I have followed his career right thru the years. What a stunning and great sight to watch him hit the fours and sixes. He has made my interest in cricket a wonderful experience and I wish him the best in the shorter form of the game. I know that he will still do very well in the ODIs and keep the Sri Lankans as refreshing and exciting as they have been in the past. Keep it up SRI LANKA....

  • vaibhav on December 9, 2007, 23:53 GMT

    Mr. Kesavan,

    Wonder, thanks for your previous article about Yuvraj. Your insights were brilliant. If you know, he just happened to play one of the greatest test hundreds made on Indian soil. Keep writing your nonsense.

  • souvik on December 9, 2007, 20:16 GMT

    Mukul deserves a hearty round of applause and then some for this piece. It is a pity that he has decided to ply his trade in a local newspaper with limited circulation. Had this article appeared in the Sydney Herald, Peter Roebuck would be out of a job by now. In fact Mukul would consign Roebuck, Scyld Berry, or Tony Cozier to the second tier of cricket writers if he could just make one pledge: NOT WRITE ANOTHER PIECE ABOUT VVS LAXMAN.

  • Does it matter on December 9, 2007, 8:35 GMT

    Hey as always bias Mukul, Why you are not posting a blog on politics against Tendulkar. I am watching this first innings of Indian batting for 3rd test. Kumble is allowing both Pathan to get century and Ganguly to go past 250. I think India has enoght runs on board. Why he is not declaring. the one instance come to my mind is Dravid declared when Tendulkar was 240+ not out. He said records doesnt matter to him. Then why his buddy Kumble is allowing that? Kapil made few comments against Sachin is playing for records. He himself didnt retired even he was struggling because of records. Pakistan let Inzy planyed one more test so that he can break Miandad's record. Shouldnt kumble support SRT to break Lara's record? He didnt send Sachin to bat in second inning in previous test. Are Kumble and Dravid playing politics against Sachin? I am hoping you have balls to put this comment somewhere and start a blog for this. or r u bias too?

  • mjuw on December 9, 2007, 0:47 GMT

    PRITAM, Yuvraj is an inspired young cricketer, probably inspired by the limelight Tewnty20 cricket has offered in the modern days, and we’ll see some entertaining innings from him in the years to come. But in Yuvraj, Gilchrist, Afridi, and many others in the likes of to come we will see the inspiration and confidence they’d derived from Jayasuriya “heroics”. Mukul with his artistry of writing has put the Legend of Jayasuriya in to perspective. With all said and written about Jayasuriya at his retirement from Test cricket, I am yet to see a more perspective, to-the-point analysis from a writer. I as a SriLankan, am pleased to reflect on such a Legacy through the eloquent perspective of gentlemanly journalism by Mukul. His journalism is far from non-sense. Thanks again Mukul for this.

  • Chinthake on December 8, 2007, 15:57 GMT

    Jayasuriya is a greate cricketer who can not compare with any other schools of cricket playing. He is having very unique feature which you can not find in any other cricketer.We attracted to watch cricket by the he played the game of cricket. Well Done Jayasuriya! I was expecting that you would reach 7000 runs and 100 wickets. Good Luck! Jayasuriya

  • raman on December 8, 2007, 15:30 GMT

    was watching an EPL football game and they were playing in driving rain. In a cricket match, all it takes is a light drizzle to send the players scurrying to the pavilion. Cricket is a game for sissies, isn't it.

  • PRITAM on December 8, 2007, 14:15 GMT

    "'d have had S Badrinath in Yuvraj's place because after nineteen tests and a batting average of thirty-three, the Punjab batsman has done enough to demonstrate that he'll never be a significant Test batsman"

    such a shame on u mukul. Did u see first day of third test. Please prove that you are a no non-sense writer and write a blog about UV's heriocs. Fell no shame in eating your words after all cricket journalism is a gentleman's game too.

  • CT DUBAI on December 8, 2007, 7:40 GMT

    Thanks my dear Sanath..! Our heart is beating fast when you are Batting...! Next moment will be 6 ? or Catch ? And your Last Inning one over you marked as 4.4.4.4.4.4

    You change the cricket & players also. Somebody lost their place bcos of your attack.

    Anyway Congrats you & pls dont retire from ODI.

    And this retirement will good news for bowlers in the world.

  • jay on December 8, 2007, 0:48 GMT

    Cricket is so hopelessly anglo-centric and rigged to favour the white nations at every step and turn, that if it wasn't for the odd journo like yourself Mukul who is willing to tell it like it is I would long ago have consigned cricket to the dustbin of history, where barring the enthusiasm of the Aussies and the Indians, it truly belongs. Until now no one had bothered to inform me just how and why Sanath Jayasuriya is such a wonderful cricketer and why he holds such an importnat place in the history of the game. Thanks Mukul and of course thanks to Sanath for all those sensational innings which changed perceptions in so many different ways.

  • Akram on December 7, 2007, 16:57 GMT

    Good article. But you write this as if thought Sanath has retired from all cricket. He is not done yet!

  • Cannuck on December 7, 2007, 15:38 GMT

    CORRECTIONS,

    I think couple of poster got it wrong trying to correct Pilot's post. He wasn't referring to Sidath Wettamuni, who is in fact from Ananda like his brothers Sunil & Nimal... but if you read his post you will see that Pilot clearly names Sudath Pasquel who was from Royal.

  • Manjula W on December 7, 2007, 13:30 GMT

    Thanks Mukul for a great article. The mere number of individuals who have contributed to this discussion from many countries is the best testimony of appreciation of Mr. Jayasuriya's impact on the game, which is a natural way of showing their appreciation for a Great Cricketing Legend, a tribute and an appreciation Sri Lankan Cricket & Management itself has failed to show to a most deserving gentleman of the game.

    Mr. Jayasuriya may be aware of the article by Mukul (as it appeared in a local news paper today, in ‘The Island’), but I also hope he would hear about this appreciation shown by many around the world.

    My Best Wishes and Long life to Mr. Jayasuriya

  • chits on December 7, 2007, 10:02 GMT

    Matara is not a small town it may be tiny in physically but it (it and southern part of the country - galle matara and hambanthota ) has produced most eminent and pioneers in srilankan history in very aspects, from king dutugamunu to lasith malinga. Sana is a humble gem among them who make us proud of Being srilanken and southerners.

  • Mahesh on December 7, 2007, 9:02 GMT

    I am a Sri Lankan. First of all let me praise the best cricketer of all time for his valiant service. I saw some comments discriminating cricketers by schools. That was the biggest problem in Sri Lankan Cricket. Arjuna was a good player for Sri Lanka but still at the end he distroy Sri Lankan cricket by influencing selection and all forms of the game. I respect good players weather they are from south or north, Ananda or Royal. For being a good cricketer you do not need to study at a Buddhist Sinhala school.

    Let me praise Sanath who is from a rural city and moderate Family Neither a Royalist nor an Anandian but most importantly a great cricketer.

    I was really tankful to all the Non Sri Lankans who joined to praise this great man. Thanx a lot for thinking beyound countries while some are still stick to religions races and schools.

  • jm on December 7, 2007, 8:54 GMT

    Excellent post. Jayasurya evokes memories off his outrageous shots square off the wicket , brisk batting, agile fielding & very useful spin bowling . Shall always remember him as the person who sent Manoj Prabhakar to his retirement. Jayasurya mauled poor Prabhakar who went for 47 runs in his 4 overs. Thanks for the entertainment, Sanath

  • chits on December 7, 2007, 8:46 GMT

    arjuna was a outsider in the sense of - home twon is gampaha not colombo- wearing sri lankan national dress for functions, valued srilankan identity, never participated in commercials (except for fund rasing for MRI scan free of charge)and promote outstation cricketers to join team in his era. he became the pioneer never afarid of mixing srilankan taste to the world cricket what is done now by our whole cricket team

  • Rupak on December 7, 2007, 7:47 GMT

    Every good thing has to come to an end...but we have memories left.. there shud not be any doubts it was Mr.J from Lanka who changed teh way they perceived of ODIs... and he still plays his game..the game he perfected... he is not the one who will do anything in a day to get centuries or records.. HE WAS A SELFLESS MAN... u saw him fielding and runnin singles in last world cup.. mind u he was 37... ask same thing from our old guns like ganguly sachin et al...

    thoigh he has left test crickt..memories remain on how he made 340.... still we have got some of him in ODIs and he will give his best..he will jump, dive, run and do every single thing that will make Lanka win..even he will go upto inventing new strategies and techniques like he did a decade ago... Long live Mr.J....

  • ShankarNarayanan on December 7, 2007, 7:13 GMT

    Sanath was a great entertainer. To watch him in full flow was a delight. You could see bowlers cringing, grimacing, and try to get out of the line of fire given the first chance. The likes of Venkatesh Prasad, Manoj Prabhakar and even Kumble were given some of the harshest treatment ever meted out to bowlers. However I think he was not so comfortable against Srinath/Zaheer who could bring the ball to swing at pace. The best thing about his batting was the pace at which runs were gathered and the confidence he could put into the dressing room by just scoring 40 odd runs. Then Aravinda/Arjuna could just carry on and on and make winning scores possible.

    Mr.Ezhil:Suggest you watch some footage of Srikkanth in action in Chennai Test against Pak, Kolkatta test against Pak with the great Imran Khan leading the attack. Or just to remind you see the WC Final in which his 38 was highest score and the way he hit the Andy Roberts delivery to the cover fence was brilliant as the fielders did not even move. So him being a swisher IS JUST RUBBISH

  • HLANGL on December 7, 2007, 7:08 GMT

    chits had said "It is unfair to judge Mubarak so early. I think he is doing what he is asked. If we had judge sanath like this in his early stage of carrier and dropped, the world cricket would have missed one of the greatest player ever they had ". You are parially right. But J'suriya had shown the signs of greatness right from the begginning. He scored 3 hundreds, including 2 consecutive unbeated double hundreds, so hammering well over 500 runs for the SL B team (then in 1989, it was known as B, not A) led by Ashley De Silva in Pakistan. He also led the Under 23 team by example in South Africa scoring 2 explosive hundreds. He made an entertaining 151 against the touring Indian team led by Azaruddin in 1993 at Welagedara stadium. Even in the few initial test matches he was given in the very initial stage of his career, he did wel enough (he had made 4 fifties in 7-8 matches against the teams Pakistan, England, South Africa) given that he batted at number 6-7. Most of his initial failures were due to the position given for him at the ODI batting order. In most cases, he had only 5-6 overs left to bat in ODIs, where he would get a quickfire 10-15-20 & then got out. It's only after the 1993 Sarjah series, after the match against Pakistan where SL had to chase 315, he was given a top slot. He batted at number 3, mainly in view of lifting the run rate, & made a quick fire fifty. In the next match he made another, even more attacking 65. SL lost both games, but was fortunate enough to have discover J'suriya at his distructive best. T.B Kehelgamuwa was the manager of the side & SL didn't have a proper coach that time (Whatmore arrived in '95). Then on he was much more consistent, including the famous 140 against NZ in SA in the '94 Mandela series. After 95-96 he became the unique ingadient of the SL lineup, only to be bracketted with De Siva as the true match winning batsmen in SL side. So you just can't compare what J'suriya had done initially with what Mubarak is doing now. J'suriya was not the top order slot he really deserved, merely utilized as a 50/50 batsman/spinner. Mubarak seems to be getting all the chances, yet not shown atlest any signs of the greatness that J'suriya always glimpsed. I think a player like kapudeara who seems to be having a lot more flair & natural ability worth more exposure in early 20. Just don't forget, De Silva got it (in 84-89 era) during his early 20s, so he had enough time to transform his tallent into perfermances. So it's worth giving more chances to Kapugedara rather than joking with Mubarak. Otherwise he could be the next in the list of players like Saman Jayantha, Indika De Seram who promised a lot but achieved almost nothing. But surely, it's not entirly their fault. Then again this is out of track. But some viewers seemed to have forgotton what really happened, so these thing really worth mentioning.

  • Abdul kader.k.a.from kadayanallur,TN,INDIA. on December 7, 2007, 6:21 GMT

    In recent past we really lost good players like lara, inzamam,langer,mcgrath,warne, martin, astle, atappattu, now JAYA, really it is sad news for cricket fans to loss these players, particularly JAYA'S awesome stroke play in tests. Because now a days test receive some threat frm odi&t20, so to enjoy test like odi&t20 he need. We really miss him.

  • HLANGL on December 7, 2007, 6:18 GMT

    Pilot said "About Arjuna being the first outsider - He was only the second ever to Captain Sri Lanka/Ceylon outside the Royal-Thomian fraternity. Warnapura though the first Captain his stint was brief, and was unceremoniously dumped in favour of a Thomian Duleep Mendis." If I'm not mistaken here, Arjuna seems to be the 3rd, not the 2nd. The first one should be Mahadevan Sathasivam (famously know as "Satha"), possibly the most complete batsman to date from Sri Lanka taking all the facets of batting artistry into account. He was from Wesley college (but had had a relatively unknown/quieter life as a schoolboy compared to the hights he achieved later) led the (then Ceylon) team for a brief period in late 1940s/early 1950s. Subsequently he led the Malaysian team also. Yes. Sidath is from Ananda, not from the Royal.

  • Ujjwal Acharya on December 7, 2007, 5:59 GMT

    As one of his fan watching him since 1996, its a sad moment for me. What's the most extraordinary thing about his career is his love and dedication for the game. He always proved himself useful in any responsibility given to him - as a bowler, as the aggressive opener, a Test batsman or an all rounder. His commitment on the field even in his last Test was laudable.

    Its sad that world cricket has lost such a player but we all knew long ago it would come and that I am happy it did come a long after that we had probably thought!

    We will always remember you and want to see you in other areas of cricket!

  • Satish Shankar on December 7, 2007, 5:29 GMT

    Never ever i have seen anyone so invincible on the cricket field. Jayasuriya was a super human at display when he flayed indian bowling attack all over park during the india's tour of srilanka in 1997. Jaya'Suriya'.... the name itself spitted fire !!

  • Eranga Abeygunawardane on December 7, 2007, 5:10 GMT

    Records HELD by JAYASURIYA

    Fastest 50 from 17 Balls. Fastest 100 from 48 Balls. First player to take 300 wickets and score over 10 000 runs. Most runs in an Over ( 31 ). Highest first wicket partnership in ODI. Most Sixes in Carrier. Most sixes in an Innings.

    Test, Highest partnership for any wicket.

    TEAM RECORDS Sri LAnka has Most Runs record in all Modes.But all occasions Sanath was the TOP SCORER.

    Most Runs in Test 940 against india- Sanath was the top Scorer in that match 340. Most runs in ODI 440 against Scotland- Sanath was again on top scoring 152.

    Most runs in 20 Twenty 280 again Sanath was on top scoring 88.

    SO is there any other player who entertain the fans much???

  • Face In the Crowd on December 7, 2007, 4:55 GMT

    Jayasuriya (and Gilchrist) will always be remembered for their undiluted and selfless approach. Whether 9, 49 or 99, if a ball is there to be hit, it will be.

    For this single reason alone, statistics are irrelevant to them.

  • Abdul kader.k.a.from kadayanallur,TN,INDIA. on December 7, 2007, 4:48 GMT

    Hai, I remember B.C.LARA the west indian genius asked the crowd in his last match''did i entertain you?if it s that's what i want,i am happy'',he said. I think SANATH did that, he entertained us last 12 or 13 years, by his awesome stroke play! And it is pleasure to see it atleast in odi's some more years! Yes, some players might have started attaking cricket before JAYA, but they were not consistent like JAYA, he played attaking cricket consistently and won many matches for SL single handly, i think some guys in this article blame JAYA, u may all accept this! we really miss ur entertain in tests JAYA, but pleasure to have you in ODI'S.

  • David Wijekoon-Pereea on December 7, 2007, 4:10 GMT

    Nice try Dude. I have read far better thgan this though. I don't know if you ever saw him play in Sri Lanka, or elsewhere outside India, but reading this comes across as something that's been pulled together by another writer, a former CricInfo man, Trevor Chesterfield. I'd love to see his farewell story as he knows the guy well and this you seem to grab attention from othger sources. We can all, if we have the smart wordy talent do something similar.

  • Rajesh Kumar Dhakal on December 7, 2007, 4:07 GMT

    One of the fearless attacking opening batsman retires frem test cricket.this is heart breaking.Sri lanka wont produce such an attacking batsman ever.He is a example for modern cricket.

  • Pervez Shaik on December 7, 2007, 4:04 GMT

    I used to hate jayasuriya batting against us especially smashing us around in world cup and after that. Used to always hope kumble or somebody should get him out in the first fifteen.Anywayz looking back now i have come to appreciate his awesome batsmanship, all the memories right from my college days and i feel nothing but thanks for the great man and the wonderful game of cricket we all love

  • Pubudu Perera on December 7, 2007, 3:56 GMT

    What a player! What an article! Thanks MUKUL for admiring the greatest sportsman Sri Lanka ever produced. Sana is truly a LEGEND. When he gets going only him self can get him out. 189 against india is the best example.He's considered as a national hero in Sri Lanka.But what a simple & humble man he is.

    How many attacks he has managed to tear apart? How many bowlers have retired from criket after being hit by him. All these things reveals that he is the most devastating batsman all time.

    Sana! You're responsible for producing this many cricket fans in Sri Lanka. That's why most of the people turns off the TV after your dismissal. Thanks for all the entertainment you gave over decades & being the unofficial AMBASSADOR for my small island.

  • F Jurangpathy on December 7, 2007, 3:27 GMT

    Please dont compare Sanath Jayasuriya with Sachin Tendulkar. Sanath Jayasuriya is free flowing cricketer and does not play to improve his statistics unlike Tendulkar. When you look back in comparison with as team player, when Sanath scores Sri Lanka wins the game, but I incase of Sachin always fail when India needs his contribution. Sachin a supreme player of class but I have notice he never delivers the goods when its needed. Statistically Sachin ahead of Sanath Jayasuriya, but Sanath have done many major contributions to many Sri Lanka victories in the past unlike Sachin have failed in that instances where India have lost many games due Sachin poor contribution on a pressure situation.

  • Dinesh on December 7, 2007, 3:12 GMT

    No doubt he is an exceptional player and did a great job to Sri Lankan cricket. I can not see any one in Sri Lanka at present to match him. But he played test cricket little too long. In my opinion he should have retired from test cricket two years before.

  • Asanga & Wasubandhu (AW) on December 7, 2007, 3:01 GMT

    Sanath Jayasuriya, king of one day internationals, made own theroies he is my most favourite cricketer and i started to watch cricket because of him , when batting. Not like other most crickerters, magnificent cricketing brain with dynamic plans. The most significant thing about him, not the blast way of batting. The match winning ability is the number one point in this man. He had won a lot of matches for Sri Lanka over the years.he is the most destructive player ever born to ODI cricket and i think he is more famous than Sachin and people like to admire his incrdible shots better than others. he has the right temperment. After his departure, Sri Lanka has to face A lot of troubles. We do not get better next generation. There is a PC game called "Crysis", It requires a massive pc to play with greater graphics. If you have a normal pc, still play, but quality is not there. It is like Sanath. He has changed the whole game. People have watched cricket due to this magnificent man. we missed you so much. Without you cricket is like hell. Still some more years left for ODI,he will be a great cricket legend for cricket fans all over the world for ever. Best of luck sana bro.with the best wishes from our dearest friend Shan Shady ( Paspaw's Brother). thank you for entertaining us for more than 15 years

  • devinda on December 7, 2007, 3:01 GMT

    A most compelling article which goes beyond statistic which more often than not conceals significance/impact a player brings to the game. I thoroughly enjoyed it & yes there is no doubt that when reflect on the histoy of the game Jayasuriya will hold a special place for revolutionising it.

  • Sid on December 7, 2007, 3:01 GMT

    Jayasuriya was definitely one of the great players who left the impression on the game without reaching the immortal heights. I definitely admire him however, let's not call him a torch bearer of the change that happened in the way the first 15 overs were played in one-day cricket. That credit goes to Mark Greatbatch who displayed atacking batting to open NZ innings in 92 World cup. Jayasuriya refinned that over the years and did it more consistently. What's more impressive is that he has maintained his high level of hand-eye coordination even today when he's 38.

  • Vishnu Kantha on December 7, 2007, 3:00 GMT

    I am an indian and a housewife. I was never a great follower of cricket. My husband always talked of Sana and thats how i started watching Sanas batting. I feel sad that he is retiring from tests because he brought so much of joy and entertainment. Good luck Sanath

  • Manilal Jayawardhana on December 7, 2007, 2:06 GMT

    I am speechless.....it's hard to see such a wonderful personality exit the arina of test cricket. Much has been said about Sanath's greatness on the field as a Batsman, Bowler and alert feilder most of it coming from our Indian friends shows how much respect he has earned as a great player. To me Sanath is the epitome of greatness as he has also been the most humble of the lot even Lara follows him. I guess Sachin's exit will never be felt by the Indians as much as Sanaths was.If there was ever a cricketer and a gentleman it was Sanath. He was the silent assasin in the game but as a person the most gentlemanly and humble cricketer I ever came across. He has no enemies even his rivals love him for the man he is on and off the feild. Mahela and Sanga were both spot on when they said he will be missed in the dressing room. As the elder statesman he never buldozed his ideas to the younger ones but was gentle in his advice never giving the feeling that he was dominant. He is kind and good hearted helping people in every possible way. Thats Sanath to me and I am glad I had the opportunity to meet him sometime back which confirmed to me all I mentioned above. God Bless you Sanath and hope to see your fireworks in the ODI's.

  • Narayan Rao : Windsor, Canada on December 7, 2007, 1:05 GMT

    I have been following Sanath's cricket since his debut. If there was one bastsman that any bowler would fear to bowl in any country , it has to be him.In this era , where foul language , body language are all termed as healthy aggressions - Sanath made his bat do the talking.All the top bowlers without exception were clobbered. It is rare to find someone so gentle , yet so ruthless with the bat. People can talk of Shrikanth , Shewag , Greatbatch and the rest - but none can come close to Sanath. A great player - any time ; all the time. The tributes from all over the world is testimony to his greatness. Would love to see him perform at the ODIs. Take care man ! Will Miss you as always !!

  • Faisal on December 6, 2007, 23:10 GMT

    I just want to say hats off to the great Sanath Jaysuria. An excellent timer of the ball as well a great bowler.He played an extra ordinary cricket and introduce a new one day cricket culture.I hope that we still get to see him in One day games, if not then not only Sirlanka will be missing him but the whole crickting world will be missing a great crickter.

    Thanks

  • vino on December 6, 2007, 23:09 GMT

    The legend will be missed by all. I believe he is the one and only best cricket entertainer. I watched him ever since i knew about cricket which was in 1994. I am one of the huge fan of him, maybe the biggest fan of all. If theres any match srilanka are playing, i stay all night to watch him bat. When he doesnt play, i dont watch the match at all, instead i just look at the score. I am very thankful to god that he is still playing ODI, but he will be missed very much in the test matches. If jayasuriyas career is over in ODI, my career will be ended as well from watching cricket. I am planning to visit sanath over the summer. Sanath, i hope u get to read this, and i am your best fan. Thank You sanath for all the entertainment you provided me and the world. You are truly great.

  • Ali B on December 6, 2007, 22:32 GMT

    One amazing memory that I have of Jayasuriya is that of a stroke he played in 1994-95 at Sharjah against the almighty West Indies. He was a relatively unknown at that time and in an earlier match in the tournament Phil Simmons who was in belligerent form with both bat and ball won the man of the match award and mentioned the sri lankan spinners bowled well.. he clearly couldn’t remember any names of the Spinners who bowled to him and just referred to them as the Offie (Ruwan Kalpage) and the Left armer (Jayasuriya).

    Then Sri lanka somehow came into the final and in it Jayasuriya was promoted to open the innings. Simmons came on to bowl his slow medium stuff and immediately was hit over slips 2 bounces to the 3rd man fence for four. Simmons wasnt very impressed as he thought Jayasuriys had edged it. I mean what else could it be .. other than an edge. No one could deliberately hit a ball over the slip fielders specially when a slow medium pacie was bowling right?! So Simmons brought the 3rd man fielder, the giant Courtney Walsh a bit finer and threw in the Sucker Punch at Jayasurya by bowling one of the slowest balls I have seen a medium pacer ever bowl. Jayasurya obliged again went for the cut ... he seemed to open the face of the bat at the last possible second to intentionally send the ball towards 3rd man where Walsh was waiting eagerly. As the ball went really high in the air I swore under my breath as I couldn’t believe Jayasuriya had gone for almost an impossible shot... but I slowly realised as the ball came down to earth that I wasn’t the only spectator swearing.. Walsh was too as he watched the ball sail way over his head and into the crowd!!

    It was the first time I had seen someone perfectly executing a cut over 3rdman for six. Amazing shot.. An Era changing moment!! At least it ensured that Simmons never forgot Jayasuriyas name. !! Thanks Jayasuriya for all these little memories. A true team man in a sport where individual statistics seem to matter more and more than the end results and the battles in the middle!!

  • Kumar on December 6, 2007, 22:00 GMT

    It's unfortunate that we live in a world governed by numbers...how limited as people will look to the numbers to prove their point...greatness can't be measured by numbers...Jayabhai, played with gay abandon and reshaped the limited overs game like no one has...numbers can't tell that story. I agree with you that numbers LIE. Brian Lara has many records but never won anything significant. Part of Sri Lanka winning the 1996 WC was because of the way Jayabhai played. You will be missed.

  • Asitha on December 6, 2007, 22:00 GMT

    Your article is quite good but if you look at the contents you have more to say about Jayasuriya-heroics in ODI's than tests. So I don't take him as retired yet. I only think of him as a retired player when he really retires from ODI cricket.

  • Arun on December 6, 2007, 21:52 GMT

    Mukul,

    You have a lot of love for Sri Lanka and its cricketers. But dont let that cloud your mind. Jayasuriya didn't transform ODI batsmanship in the 1996 World Cup. YOU probably only saw that kind of batting in the 1996 World Cup. I'm sure you were in Kotla when Jayasuriya took Prabhakar and co to the cleaners in one of the group matches. The real forbear was Srikkant but nobody really recognizes him. Instead they harp on about Greatbatch and Latham who no doubt took a great toll of the fielding restrictions in the first 15 overs. And then came Tendulkar who in his new avatar as an opener (at Auckland in 1994) pummelled the Kiwis to the tune of 82 in 41 balls. Downunder, in 1995, SL's opening pair of Kalu and Jayasuriya actually provided a glimpse of what was to come in the World Cup. ODI batsmanship was undergoing transformation since the early 90s. Jayasuriya merely brought it to focus on a World stage.

  • Sena on December 6, 2007, 21:49 GMT

    Excellent piece, Mukul, on an EXCELLENT CRICKETER. Sanath, Thank you for what you did for the game. Words alone will not suffice to describe your contribution. There is an INDELIBLE AURA about your contribution to the game.

    P.S. Mukul, will you be doing a piece on Murali's record breaking achievement? Thanks.

  • Sena on December 6, 2007, 21:48 GMT

    Excellent piece, Mukul, on an EXCELLENT CRICKETER. Sanath, Thank you for what you did for the game. Words alone will not suffice to describe your contribution. There is an INDELIBLE AURA about your contribution to the game.

    P.S. Mukul, will you be doing a piece on Murali's record breaking achievement? Thanks.

  • pavi on December 6, 2007, 21:03 GMT

    thnx 4 da memories sanath...luv u and will neva 4get what u did for our island

  • Amir Chan on December 6, 2007, 20:51 GMT

    Jayasuriya is really great. He is a wonderful bowler as well. I like his bowling action. I am going to miss him.

  • Amir Chan on December 6, 2007, 20:50 GMT

    Jayasuriya is really great. He is a wonderful bowler as well. I like his bowling action. I am going to miss him.

  • Mangala Banneyake on December 6, 2007, 20:49 GMT

    Sorry to burst your bubble Anshuman, Please take-off your Tendulkar glasses and see the reality!.

    Jayasuriya has played more match-winning innings than any of the players you mentioned in your space-wasted contribution.

    Jayasuriya is the greatest match winning player the cricket has seen so far, Wake-up, Cricket is not all about Indians!

  • kirby on December 6, 2007, 20:25 GMT

    Re: Pilot's comment that Sidath is from Royal..Correct me if I'm wrong, but if you meant Sidath Wettimuny, he was from Ananda.. Re: Outstation cricketers in the SL team; Arjuna Ranatunga was one of the main reasons those from the outstations had an opportunity of playing cricket for the SL team which was up to then full of folks from Colombo and the suburbs..A huge amount of credit should go to Arjuna..He was genuinely interested in giving everyone a chance.. This is one of the many reasons given by those greats such as Murali, Sanath, Sanga, etc.,in praise Arjuna..

  • Nasir Siddique on December 6, 2007, 20:23 GMT

    Tremendous player who did what was required. He was one player who gave it everything he had. He may have limitations but he played his heart out. Hopefully we can still get some performances in the one-day field. Remarkably he has maintained his fitness and still looks the part.

    He is a wonderful player and a model cricketer for everyone. We will surely miss him on the cricket field and remember some of his most destructive performances.

  • sakib and friends on December 6, 2007, 20:02 GMT

    We are a group of cricket fans based on Malaysia. We just have to say Thank you to Sanath Jayasuriya...probabaly the best exponent of modern day cricket. You have been the greatest inspiration for us...as a cricketer and as a character. The way Sanath lead the revolution for Srilanka in 1996..storming with hard-hitting batting in first 15 overs and clever off-spin has changed the picture of ODI games and it was unbelievable and inspiring, and made us hugely mad fans of him...We admire Sanath more than anyother players of his contemporary, because of his gretaness not only as a player who was breath-taking, but also for his sportsmanship and true spirited personality inside and outside of the field...God BLESS U SANATH JAYASURIYA...

  • sama on December 6, 2007, 19:54 GMT

    thx mukul,he is a Great cricketer in our cricket world we miss u buddy but sun and moon will stay for ever and also u will be like this with shining,please come to test world again and remain as eternal diamond

  • Upali on December 6, 2007, 19:36 GMT

    After reading the excellent article by Mukul and reading almost all the comments about Sana, I felt I should penned some of the feelings am having about this wonderful person, but not about the explosive cricketer you all have so far identified. I came to know him personaly through one of his uncles who was having close contacts with me as we were involving in the same field of buisness. The very first day I went to his place and after introducing me to this giant yet down to earth human being, the way he talked and laughed with me, will be there in my heart forever. At the end of the discussion he not only followed me to my car, but even closed the door for me wishing me a good night. Such a humble human, who never let swelled his head or mind by the fame and the greatness he earned,, as most of our countrymen are famous for these days...Sana you are a fantastic human being and my respect is there for you always.

  • Manoj Prabhakar on December 6, 2007, 19:27 GMT

    Jaysurya was also to a large extent responsible for ending careers of bowlers like Manoj Prabhakar after the assault on them during the 1996 WC.

  • kirby on December 6, 2007, 19:25 GMT

    Re: Pilot's comment that Sidath is from Royal..Correct me if I'm wrong, but if you meant Sidath Wettimuny, he was from Ananda.. Re: Outstation cricketers in the SL team; Arjuna Ranatunga was one of the main reasons those from the outstations had an opportunity of playing cricket for the SL team which was up to then full of folks from Colombo and the suburbs..A huge amount of credit should go to Arjuna..He was genuinely interested in giving everyone a chance.. This is one of the many reasons given by those greats such as Murali, Sanath, Sanga, etc.,in praise Arjuna..

  • Jaideep Nair on December 6, 2007, 19:20 GMT

    Kenny Israni, If I am not wrong, I think you may be referring to the 2 (out of the 3) overs that finished Manoj Prabhakar's career. Thank you Sanath for that! And thank you, Sanath, for all the scintillating batting and pure joy that you provided us. Thank you for changing the game. Mark Greatbatch may have started the concept of mauling in the initial overs, but you, Sanath made it into "the" preferred approach all over the world.

  • kirby on December 6, 2007, 18:36 GMT

    Theena: Your comment re: Bandula Warnapura being from Ananda is incorrect. He was a product of Nalanda..Another public school on par with Ananda, as far as background and the production of numerous test and ODI players for the SL team.. Mukul: Ananda and Nalanda are large public schools in SL..Generally they represent a lot of the folks from the outstations (non-city folk, generally from the smaller and poorer schools) as most kids end up at those larger public schools by way of a scholarship program at 6th grade.. Royal too is a large public school that has folks from the outstations, but most of their students are from in and around Colombo and represent more middle and upper middle classes and even some of the elite..Just an FYI.. Also, thanks so much for the pleasant reading..The article quite rightfully acknowledges Sanath's genius..And to those who may not had the pleasure of this genius's company, he is the most humble and decent human being..Quite like the other greats from his era, Arjuna and Murali.. Thanks for the opportunity to comment!

  • Aruna Weerakoon on December 6, 2007, 18:30 GMT

    In my book he was the greatest opening bat of all time. Nobody had the audacity he had to completely destroy an entire bowling side within the first few overs. When Sanath scored Sri lanka most often won! This was the magic he gave this game & made millions interested in otherwise considered a boring game. Even a test match innings became a one-dayer when he was at his brilliant best. When he does get out most people including myself just lose interest in the game. In a small country such as Sri Lanka guys like Sanath are gems that are taken out of Mother Earth once in a life time. I hope he plays in the limited version till the next World Cup. He has that in him. Thanks Sanath for all those exciting moments when we Sri Lankans have our own share of problems in this beautiful land.

  • Geith on December 6, 2007, 18:27 GMT

    Sanath thank you!!! Awesome cricketer and the only time a sports person got in the way of of my education.Yes,because of you my Dad had asked specifically to not go to school because you were on fire.Thank god my Dad did that against the wishes of my Mom because i would have missed the fastest 50 and the then fastest hundred.You have been the greatest Sri Lanakan cricketer ever.You were the heart and soul of Sri Lankan cricket.I'm definitely gonna miss you. haha sounds almost like a love letter....haha but thats what the Sri Lankan public had with you... you were every Sri Lankans love/hate affair.Your retirement brought tears to my eyes,only times that happened while watching telly is when i was 10 years and watching lion king and now when you retired.have an awesome retirement .

  • Guni Rizwan on December 6, 2007, 18:13 GMT

    Sanath Jayasuriya, king of one day internationals, made own theroies , when batting. Not like other most crickerters, magnificent cricketing brain with dynamic plans. The most significant thing about him, not the blast way of batting. The match winning ability is the number one point in this man. He had won a lot of matches for Sri Lanka over the years. he has the right temperment. After his departure, Sri Lanka has to face A lot of troubles. We do not get better next generation. There is a PC game called "Crysis", It requires a massive pc to play with greater graphics. If you have a normal pc, still play, but quality is not there. It is like Sanath. He has changed the whole game. People have watched cricket due to this magnificent man. we missed you so much. Without you cricket is like hell. Still some more years left for ODI, Best of luck sana bro.

  • chits on December 6, 2007, 17:56 GMT

    Whether they are coming from Royal or Mahinda (Malingas School) it shouldntbe matter to us till they play for our country. It is unfair to judge Mubarak so early. I think he is doing what he is asked. If we had judge sanath like this in his early stage of carrier and dropped, the world cricket would have missed one of the greatest player ever they had

  • paspaw lambie on December 6, 2007, 17:49 GMT

    he was one of the greatest all rounders of the game. cricket needs people like sanath. only such attackers can only save the game of cricket for future. brilliant player with great cricket brain. knows how to face the innings and i hope he would play another two or three years in ODI. after that i dont know what will happen to sri lankan cricket. there wont be great players to come and cricket will be a in a great dissaster. any way i like to thank sanath for entertaining us for more than 15 years. also our dearest paspaw wishing all the best for him in the future. you are a great sri lankan.

  • Hariprasad on December 6, 2007, 17:27 GMT

    The magician from emerald island is great.If he was from our land then never see like this brave and perfect good bye.If a Ganguly or Tendulkar scores a storm fifty in crucial situation like Sanath did.sure,our men will postpone their retirement.above all they will tell about their T20 prospect in match ceremony instead of retirement decision.Oh Sanath you did absolutely right.Everyone who loves the game will think "he can continue more".Sanath,you are not a genius,you are not a master but you lift this game,s pride.you gave us so many entertainment.and you took your team into top of the world.Kudos Jayasuriya !

  • Dhammika on December 6, 2007, 17:17 GMT

    dear Sanath, thank you for everything, you made us proud to be Sri Lankan wherever we go.Sri Lankan Nation bows to you.

  • buddhika on December 6, 2007, 17:11 GMT

    yeah looking at the way Mubarak going now, i don't think they'll pick another Royalist for a while.

    People, anyone can take bowling apart on their own day. Jayasuriya has played more ODIs than anyone (300+) and he's still able to maintain a strike rate of 92+ that's consistency.

  • Engr.S.R. SHANKAR on December 6, 2007, 17:08 GMT

    The great jAYASURIYA will be remembered for: a]Sheer nonchalant approach with scant regard for any bowler [A La Carribean]-pace or spin b]unchanged arrogant attacking style of batting in any situation for which our Srikant showed the way c] invaluable support for Murali in bowling performance particularly in ODI- Grossly under-rated Jai, You enthralled millions of followers from all countries the pleasure of which we will cherish and recall to our sons/grandsons-- You certainly have a claim to immortality Only grey area is that he has never been a dependable bat or a cricketer playing sheet anchor role

  • Chintaka on December 6, 2007, 16:58 GMT

    For me, I knew Jayasuriya was a genius the moment he hit 2 consecutive 200’s in Pakistan on an U-19 or a SL “B” tour way back in the late 80’s.

    Jayasuriya will most probably go down in history as THE greatest player to have played the limited overs edition. Oh how I remember the days when no bowlers went unpunished. Most were great match winners in their own right with a ball in their hand in the likes of McGrath, Warne, Pollock, Waqar Younis and Wasim Akram to name a few. He not only he knocked his opponent unconsciously to the ground but he set precedence in the style and manor of his execution. Correct Shrikanth and Greatbatch initiated but Jayasuriya just took it to dizzy heights never seen before. A special mention to Whatmore who let Sanath be himself.

    His stamina is another story, I just wish my horse could run like that!

    This decade will be a sad 10 years, not to forget the other great names that bowed out.

    Great story Mukul

  • Umesh Srinivasan on December 6, 2007, 16:36 GMT

    Sana boy's exploits brought smiles to the faces of the general public who had to undergo lots of hardships in this war torn nation. When on song he was pure entertainment and was one of the most destructive batsmen of our era. Thanks Sana boy for taking us to another level of entertainment

  • Dhaval Brahmbhatt on December 6, 2007, 16:34 GMT

    Mukul, As much as I admire Jayasuriya - I would beg to differ on the count that he was someone who started the era of the Sehwags and Gilchrists. I believe, as someone in the comments above has already pointed out, the originals were really Mark Greatbatch, Kris Srikanth and to some extent Sachin Tendulkar. Yes, they are not remembered primarily because - apart from Greatbatch - the others were not being asked to do it consistently and were not as successful (in terms of the team's win/loss ratio). In Sachin's case, just the fact that he is too correct a batsman means that he will be overlooked as a fast and furious whacker of the cricket ball. Again, this is nothing against Jayasuriya, I believe, he was one of the hardest hitters of the cricket ball, giving a damn to age old batting theories and techniques - he was good, certainly not great and definitely not a genius.

  • PN Gajasinghe on December 6, 2007, 16:30 GMT

    Thank u so much Sanath what you have done for Sri Lanka & u made everybody proud..Great to see u in oneday matches...Thanks Mukul for very well written article with the right facts..

  • LM on December 6, 2007, 16:30 GMT

    Sanath being one of the Greatest openers and entertainers of yesteryear will surely be missed. It will be rather boring to watch a very different opening pair walking in without Our Jayasuriya around. Good luck to him and may he entertain us in the one dayers. Bless you Sanath..

  • Raman on December 6, 2007, 16:16 GMT

    Though Jayasurya made *pure hitting* as the template for the first 15 overs in ODI, the real mastermind was Martin crowe when he asked Mark Greatbatch to *go for it*. I guess this is not even acknowledged by the author. I do agree Jay was instrumental in the sea change by which the ODI is played nowadays, the credit for starting it lies elsewhere. However, Jay was terror even for the likes of Wasim and Waqar when he started hitting sixes over the point-region. However, Javagal srinath tormented him while Jay tormented Venkatesh Prasad. I guess we will miss him more when he retires from ODIs than his recent retirement from tests.

  • arjuna on December 6, 2007, 16:15 GMT

    Hey AC - totally kewl idea to name the world T20 cup after Sanath...what say the rest of the bloggers?

  • Neran on December 6, 2007, 16:00 GMT

    The posts from your overseas fans in particular demonstrate how popular you are. I personally experience how you are truly admired by many Indian and Pakistani and other friends as I work with them in Mid East. I have visited Mumbai, Delhi, Lahore and the folks working in hotels, shops and taxis talks about you quite frequently, whenever I say I am a Sri Lankan.

    Sana, it’s your awesome power that we all admire and mind you, this had been going on for over 10 years!! The sheer brutality has often made the best of bowlers look pretty ordinary. The relief and joy shown by the best of opposition teams when they get you wicket shows how destructive you could be on a given day.

    The cricketing world salutes you and they will always remember your fireworks and your brand of batting, We wish you the very best and thank you for the music

  • Jason on December 6, 2007, 15:59 GMT

    Will always remember the six he scored of Ntini in South Africa. A cut shot played over third man that almost went of the ground at Centurion(i think). Some of his cuts were truly amazing to watch.

  • Rahul Oak on December 6, 2007, 15:57 GMT

    ... and also a fleeting tribute to Venkatesh Prasad (India's current bowling coach), Abey Kuruvilla, Rajesh Chauhan, Nilesh Kulkarni, and countless others whose careers contributed in no small measure in Jayasuriya's achievements, and were also ended pretty quickly as a result. Lets observe a minute of silence ...

  • chittahari on December 6, 2007, 15:49 GMT

    thanks mukul for every nice thing u said about our sanath. we are going to miss him and no one will be able to fill that gap, not only as a cricketer but also a as a true sri lankan who inspired us with his inocent and charming smile i still can remeber the way he played in 1992 (not 19960 world cup with his charming smile and innocent gestures long live and good luck sanath

  • CP on December 6, 2007, 15:41 GMT

    What I find most telling about his impact on the game is that Sri Lanka currently holds the records for the highest test innings total, highest ODI total and highest 20/20 total and amazingly in all three Sanath was the top scorer!

  • Lahar on December 6, 2007, 15:38 GMT

    There's a good case for claiming that Jayasuriya was a more influential batsman than Sachin. This may sound like heresy, but it's true. I still remember scorecards saying "50 off 17 balls" and "100 off 48". At one point, it became so unbelievable it was almost ludicrous.

  • Rudhra Balasubramaniam on December 6, 2007, 15:35 GMT

    I am Sri Lankan and I have never felt prouder than I am right now knowing the fact that one of the world's greatest all rounder comes from the same country as i do. It has defifnitely without a doubt been an honour to watch you play all these years, giving us wonderful memories at the same time... the 189 against India in Sharjah( I was 9 and at the stadium at that time ) and the World Cup Final on'96.. Thank you so much for everything you have done to Sri Lankan cricket. God Bless You

  • Suryan on December 6, 2007, 15:23 GMT

    Guys, Cricket is my religion and ONLY Sachin is my God. But let us save the tributes for him when he retires.

    Sanath Jayasuriya, THANK YOU. I would like to underline the thank you if possible. This man entertained the masses like no other and all the Sehwags and Gilchrists happened after him. He was not a MAULER or a MURDERER. He was a pure entertainer, nothing more and nothing less. Cricket who entertain, cricket needs people who play for the stands, cricket need gentlemen to uplift the gentleman's game, CRICKET NEEDS MORE JAYASURIYAS.

    As a kid, I would want Jayasuriya to tear apart attacks every single time. He was one of the only 2 people (Lara the other one) whom I wanted to do well even again India. I would want them to do very well, but with the only wish that India would win finally. That is the kind of entertainer he was.

    U will be missed in whites Sanath...

  • Cannuck on December 6, 2007, 15:21 GMT

    Sanath was an amazing opener, specially in ODIs. As much as some people on this column like condemn him for his brutal strength over technique, you got to admire that it also takes an awesome eye and perfect timing to hit a ball the way he did. That's skill not everyone has and although he is not in the same calibre of Sachin (a closer comparison would be Ara and Sachin), he is a man with his own style and followers. Also as much as technique and statistics are what seems to be the barometer for judging greatness, as Mukul correctly put memory is another aspect that most people are left with at the end of the day. Anyone who has seen Sana in action cannot argue with that fact. He hit it hard, and he hit almost everyone!

    To Theena, I am glad that you acknowledge the correction made by another poster, about Arjuna not being a Nalandian. May be your friend referred to Arjuna as the first Anandian to Captain and bring the WC to Sri Lanka. This even we, Nalandians are proud of sice we consider both schools as one in many ways. May be your friend felt the same way in which case he should be forgiven, if not make sure he really went to Ananda, for he may be NOT have!

    Mukul touched on another area which few others here also made comments about. Mr. Kesavan, you should be informed that Royal Thomian stppped being the two public school nurseries of of SL Cricket quite a long time before Arjuna's entrance to Cricket. What you are referring to is before the Test era, when Sri Lanka was merely a cricketing nation that others used to thump around for practice, on their way to crossing the Indian Ocean. This was mostly due to the colonial effect when most of the elite in Colombo, were in these schools. It changed starting with Warnapura, Wettamuni, Kalupruma, Ajit de Silva, Ranasinghe etc. when it was Ananda and Nalanda that dominated the SL cricket. At one time there were 8 or so from these two schools alone playing in the side, and most of them represented Bloomfield CC and not SSC (if you followed domestic Cricket in SL and it's history you would know the rivalry between these two clubs). Some may even draw a comparison of this with the changing of the Political leaderships of SL, which were also mostly dominated by the Colombo elite prior to that.

    These things however changes all the time, and I am sure during the era of Ananda Nalanda domination in SL cricket, many "outstation" players felt left out, as couple of posters above (Mahesh & Diego) had ranted about the racism in Sri Lanka. But what he too seem to have conveniently forgotten is that this too has changed now... as players like Sana, Murali, Sanga, Malinga who are not from a Colombo school are playing in the side. Ironically he should thank Arjuna (and the cricket administrators of that era) for encouraging the process of finding these hidden gems away from Colombo.

    In the end all Mahesh & Diego have done is prove to the outside world and Mukul that as a nation we have these divisions among us, even on a Cricket field. Also what Mukul failed to acknowledge in his article is that such fractions of, schools, clubs, social class, race exists in the whole sub continent, and not just in Sri Lanka. In fact it exists in one different form or the other in any sport, in any part of the world. As much as I am proud of Mahela, a Nalandian leading the SL team, I for one want SL to win no matter what player came from which part of the country, school or social group!

  • JAVED A KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on December 6, 2007, 15:20 GMT

    Jayasuriya is one of my favourite players. I rate him as the best all-rounder in the world in ODI cricket. His record speaks and no one can deny that. What amazes me is his fitness, at 37 he still runs like a hare and when he is on song, he is a treat to watch. I am glad that he has not retired from ODI, perhaps he is right in taking this decision about retiring from test cricket, because that really needs a lot of stamina.

    Tony Greig in his show has asked whether Ganguly will retire on a high? The answer is NEVER. Even Ganguly's father said, my son will never retire.

    Back to Jayasuriya, I hope he continues to entertain his fans and play positive cricket like he has always been doing.

  • Neil on December 6, 2007, 14:59 GMT

    Jayasuriya is simply one of my favourite cricketers. His biffs over cover and his casual loping approach to the bowling crease just make me smile as I think about them. I agree wholeheartedly Mukul, the manner of his approach at the top of the order (along with Kaluwitharana) did indeed revolutionise one day cricket. That said, I think his greatest gift to the game came in the form of his broad smile and the obvious enjoyment he took from his craft. His humble acceptance of both man of the match awards and dodgy umpiring decisions (seen yet again recently) along with his grace in victory or defeat should serve as a blueprint for the behaviour of young players. I simply can't think of a more well-mannered player in the last 30 years (well maybe him and Murali in a tie). The ICC could do worse than to put him on the payroll to advise up-and-coming international players regarding expectations of their onfield behaviour. As an Aussie I can tell you there are few overseas players who are more highly regarded here. This is not necessarily because he has a great record against Australia. In fact his record against the Aussies in both tests and ODIs isn't that flash, but gee its hard to fault his attitude when he plays against them. The palpable buzz in the crowd when he was at the crease and the very noisy "Ohhhhhh" at his dismissal told the tale. Sanath has never been afraid to put his dooks up in front of the Aussie bully. People rattle on about an Australian "dynasty" and write articles about " who is the second best team in the world" as if Aussie dominance can never be challenged. I can tell you now, if every player in the world approached a game against the Aussies with the same attitude as Jayasuriya then their "era" would have ended many years ago. There are many far more technically-gifted and talented players who have barely registered on the psyche of the Australians because they arrive here just looking to "just compete". Not Sanath Jayasuriya. Goodbye Sanath. On behalf of your many Australian fans I thank you for the viewing pleasure you have given us. People use lots of cricketing definitions for greatness. In human terms Jayasuriya exceeds them all. By the way, Mukul, I (like Lee Hill above) really enjoy the "elegance and grace" of your writing but must take exception to your description of Glen McGrath as "no friend of Sri Lankan cricket". I'd like to know your basis for this assertion. For someone like yourself who has in the past been quick to decry racism and bigotry in cricket I sincerely hope that you haven't "pigeon-holed" poor "pigeon" on the basis of his country of origin. I wonder if you would have used the same description if it was Brian Lara you were quoting?

  • AC on December 6, 2007, 14:37 GMT

    Sanath Jayasuriya singlehandedly created the concept of 20/20 cricket. Without the Master Blaster's demonstration of the excitement created by explosive innings I suggest that 20/20 cricket would not be around today. Indeed, even 50 over cricket, the Packer creation from which 20/20 has evolved, would be a more pedestrian affair were it not for the Jayasuriya/Kaluwitharana pyrotechnics of the mid- to late 1990s. Therefore, as a mark of gratitude to this humble genius, I suggest that world cricket's premier 20/20 championship, whenever it is organized --- and one will be organized presently --- be played for the Sanath Jayasuriya Cup.

  • Arjun on December 6, 2007, 14:36 GMT

    This man has been absolutely brilliant on and off the field. I am glad that every single person who had written here has nothing but positives to say about him - regardless of the particular geography he/she hails from. I believe that this is the true worth of a cricketer and a gentleman and the greatest compliment or tribute one can pay to a human being. Thanks for all the joy you have given all of us all over the world over the years Sanath. We are grateful that we were fortunate enough to be born in an era when we could enjoy watching you do your "thing" - in every sense of the word.

  • P on December 6, 2007, 14:36 GMT

    Sana, you were the reason I started liking cricket. Great article Mukul. However, there is also one other outstation school which has produced National Cricketeres. Trinity college Kandy which own Asgiriya stadium. Kumar Sangakkara, Ravi Ratnayaka, Kaushalya Weeraratna are three that immediately come to mind not to mention Gamini Dissanayaka who did so much for SL cricket. Anyways the article is on Sana, and I hope he can atleast treat us to atleast to some more of his entertaining knocks before he retires from ODIS.

  • P on December 6, 2007, 14:36 GMT

    Sana, you were the reason I started liking cricket. Great article Mukul. However, there is also one other outstation school which has produced National Cricketeres. Trinity college Kandy which own Asgiriya stadium. Kumar Sangakkara, Ravi Ratnayaka, Kaushalya Weeraratna are three that immediately come to mind not to mention Gamini Dissanayaka who did so much for SL cricket. Anyways the article is on Sana, and I hope he can atleast treat us to atleast to some more of his entertaining knocks before he retires from ODIS.

  • Don on December 6, 2007, 14:34 GMT

    What a great player. One of my all time favourites. I always got nervous when he came to the crease to bat. I am a die hard fan of Srilanka, but still was nervous enough to watch him bat. Thanks SANATH for the entetainment / heart troubles that you gave us. Great player, and a great way to retire from Cricket. Hopefully we may see hime for another year or two in One days and 20/20.

  • sajaad on December 6, 2007, 14:32 GMT

    and Mukul...there's this innings in pakistan where he scored 250 against akthar and co and his last 150 coming with no10 and 11! phenominal effort if you had seen it. needless to say Sri Lanka won the match. But more than anything, Jayasuria will be remembered for what he brought to the team. When greats like Tendulkar and Lara performed, victory was not always acheived but in ODIs in matches where Jayasuria has scored more than 45 Sri Lanka have won 95% of the matches - says much about the man! Well done Jayasuria.

  • Karthik to ALexF on December 6, 2007, 14:30 GMT

    AlexF : Dear Lord of morons and the officially elected wisecrack of this blog, pun was intended on Mukul (whom i respect) and not you. So kindly shut up! If you want to say something to fellow bloggers, be decent like syd boys, who also criticized me :-)

  • Kevin on December 6, 2007, 14:29 GMT

    Definitely one of the most humble and modest guys to grace the cricketing realm. I hope he'll stick around for a year or two in the ODI squad.

  • Arjun on December 6, 2007, 14:29 GMT

    This man has been absolutely brilliant on and off the field. I am glad that every single person who had written here has nothing but positives to say about him - regardless of the particular geography he/she hails from. I believe that this is the true worth of a cricketer and a gentleman and the greatest compliment or tribute one can pay to a human being. Thanks for all the joy you have given all of us all over the world over the years Sanath. We are grateful that we were fortunate enough to be born in an era when we could enjoy watching you do your "thing" - in every sense of the word.

  • Sunil on December 6, 2007, 14:28 GMT

    Sanath Jayasuriya, Extraordinary player who did not let fame get into his head. Universally loved, both in Sri Lanka and everywhere else that cricket is played. Source of immense pride to us Sri Lankan cricket fans. A true national hero in every sense. I wish him all the best for the future. Hope he will entertain us for a few more years in one-day cricket.

  • Chat on December 6, 2007, 14:27 GMT

    Theena: You challenged some of the facts in Mukul's article. Your are partly right. Arjuna Ranatunga and his family have always been part of the ruling elite in Colombo. He did go to one of the two best schools in the country (Ananda college, the other being the Royal College). The first captain of SL was neither from Ananda nor Royal, but from Nalanda college, another one of the leading Colombo colleges. Certainly putting Arjuna and Sanath in the same category does not make sense. Sanath came from a small town in the deep south.

    On Sanath: When on form, he was truly electrifying to watch. The greatest of entertainers, much more so than Sachin, Lara or Ponting. And when Sanath scored big, SL always won. Again, an area where few others, if any, could match. We will all miss him!

  • Elayaraja Muthuswamy on December 6, 2007, 14:19 GMT

    Its a sad day for both Srilankan and World Cricket. The Man from Matara has finally hung his boots in the longer version. It has been a pleasure watching him in all forms of the game and his ability to murder bowlers and destroy the careers of bowlers around the world is second to none(I guess India's Manoj Prabhakar was one of the first to suffer this cruel fate). Since he is going to continue in the ODI format for sometime we can expect some more fireworks from his blade. And finally, though he is not revered like Lara, Sachin and Ponting, I feel he is in equal status with all those for his ability to single-handedly change the course of the game. I wish Srilankan cricket board should make sure that there is a grand farewell for him when is done with ODI cricket.

  • Trevelyan on December 6, 2007, 13:59 GMT

    Yes….. Sanath was the cricketer who many bowlers feared to ball. As said he might not be up with the greats. But really rejuvenated batting in the first 15 overs since 1995. One should not forget that he made to the SL side as a bowler and his stat speaks for it. Very simple guy and has a passion for beautiful women. I was a good friend of his 01st wife. But not to mention….. Not the guys alone commit mistakes…. That’s a bit of his inner…. Wish him all the BEST

  • Tom Watthamamr on December 6, 2007, 13:40 GMT

    If will never forgett all the wonderful comments that have been posted by cricinfo when they have covered matches with Jayasuriya..."Bond to Jayasuriya, SIX, ooh where's this gone, it's sailing over extra cover, is there anyone out there? Is there toffee! It's gone for six, what a ridiculously good shot that is. He just hit through the line, opened the face of the bat just a touch and it sails into the empty stands over extra cover" it´s is pure love and that´s what Jayasuriyas cricket was all about.

  • anshuman on December 6, 2007, 13:34 GMT

    friends, am i belittling sanath's contribution to the game?????????????I am just pointing out who started it all..nothing more..nothing less..and kris srikanth was not just a slasher...some one rightly pointed out that in singing paean to a person we sometimes go a bit overboard..its as simple as that.and if sustained aggression is the criterion then well gilly is the one

  • jeevs on December 6, 2007, 13:07 GMT

    Thanks for entertaining us and the world Sana! You would have been a blessing to any nation, as a human being, as a cricketer. Thankgod it was Sri Lanka that you served. Thank you so much for all your sacrifices and hardwork on behalf of us.

  • Swapnil Ghayal on December 6, 2007, 12:26 GMT

    hi

    Can you please look at the strike rate of sachin and sanath just difference of 4.5 and look at the difference at averages more than 10+ in both format plus look at the average sachin scored against aussies and look at sanath

    sanath is pathetic against aussies and swing bowling just striking ball does not make gr8 cricketer it requires skill

    Can you forget sachin at age of 19 scoring against aussies at perth one of the fastest pitch in world and please cricket is team game you cannot hold one man responsible for winning or loosing

    please all jaisurya lovers please comment and you so called author please comment

    and i am also gr8 fan of sanath but sachin is sachin god of cricket,....

  • Observer on December 6, 2007, 12:14 GMT

    COMPARISON : WARNE RETIREMENT Vs SANA RETIREMENT

    First occasion was all bright lights & big city action. Sana departed almosted unnoticed. Yet the blog that followed when Warne retired had many Australians claiming he was not their Ideal Australian Icon. I was amazed by the number of Australians who had bad things to say about him.

    Way to go Sana. You are my pana

  • Peace2007 on December 6, 2007, 12:06 GMT

    Sanath, you are a legend. You will not be forgotten for a very long time. Keep up the 'hitting' in ODIs as we will be watching as Ian Priyanath so colourfully put it 'without even going to piss'.

    Thanks Mukul for seeing the great cricketer as well as the humble human being that Sanath is.

    For the contributers... please don't spoil the tributes that are sent to a wonderful man for a wonderful career by bringing in racial and religious comments into it to serve unneccessary agendas that you'll may have.

  • Suresh Murugaser on December 6, 2007, 12:06 GMT

    Hi Mukul Thanks for the eulogy to Sanath. Unfortunately, I've already commented on Andre Miller's article, so I won't go into detail here, except to say what an exceptional sight it was to see Sanath on song, his humility in the light of what he has achieved, and the fact that he's still going to be playing ODI's

  • Samir Chopra on December 6, 2007, 12:06 GMT

    Folks, Greatbatch's feats in the 1992 World Cup were consistent, and they were prominent enough that people talked about it during the World Cup and well after. I have nothing against Sanath, but a simple explanation for why Jayasuriya's feats have acquired the prominence that leads him to being classified as a pioneer one-day opener is that a) Jaya's style stood out more, suggesting an unorthodoxy that wasn't Greatbatch's and b) Sri Lanka won the World Cup that year. When it comes to temporal priority, there is no doubt in my mind: Greatbatch began the business of hitting hard at the opening of one-day matches, in an effort to get his team off to flyers. Jaya and Kaluwitharna, on the other hand, formed a *partnership* and this made more of an impact, and they took their country to the end (though its worth noting that their contribution in the semi-finals and finals was minor compared to what came before.)

  • AlexF on December 6, 2007, 11:41 GMT

    Sanath Jayasuriya = a CLASS act; both as a cricketer and a person;

    Mukul Kesavan = insightful wordsmith;

    Karthik - who is this joker??? 'Wannabe' writer perhaps? Failed English language teacher?

  • Manoj on December 6, 2007, 11:36 GMT

    There were all sorts of stupid stigma's inculcated by 'pundits' about what 'cricketing' shots to play , yada yada, generally from cricketings necktie fraternity and the 36 runs in 60 overs bunch of people. Jayasuriya with his success removed the stigma and turned it over its head. He also changed the definitions of 'cricketing' shots. Yes, Srikkanth may have been there earlier, but Jayasuriya was the one who truly demonstrated how its done.

  • Syd boys on December 6, 2007, 11:24 GMT

    Well done Jayasuriya and wish you all the best. Mukul: well said. karthik: shame on you. We only see ealousy on your comments. Mahesh : Yes, you are absolutely correct about Arjuna. We whole Sri Lankan witnessed how most of players been selected to represent Sri Lanka during his (Arjuna's) era. That was simply, you have to be Anandian or Nalandian whos playing or willing to play club cricket for SSC (Arjuna's cricket club).

  • Kenny Israni on December 6, 2007, 11:09 GMT

    I still remember a scorecard from one of the 1996 World Cup match, here’s how it read: Sanath Jayasuriya – not out – 42*, Romesh Kaluwitharana – not out – 7* Sri Lanka – 3 overs – 51/0 Take a long clear look at the number of overs in the above scorecard; this is how Sanath Jayasuriya redefined the game. When cautious starts were forming a norm, he added power strokes and pinch hitting to add more spice to the game. Techniques were merely left for connoisseurs and he proved most of them wrong

  • shan on December 6, 2007, 11:02 GMT

    Mr. Anshumaan i guess u dnt watch cricket that often....gr8batch nad sachin has played odd inns hre n thr.. but it was jaysuriya with his consistent power hitting changed the phase of one day cricket ...which has even incresed the rate at which runs are scored in test matches ...hence we get to see more result's in test matches..n pls dnt compare srikanth wit snath.....thr is not doubt tat jaysuriya is one of the pathbreakers in cricket...true master blaster even at the age of 38..hatts off to u MATARA MAULLER.

  • Swapnil Ghayal on December 6, 2007, 10:52 GMT

    hi

    why on the earth are you comparing sachin tendulkar with sanath jaisurya no doubt sanath is one of the best batsment but tendulkar is much ahead of him regarding scores and to hadle pressure of more than 1 billion people.

    Sachin scored his most of the runs against aussies and if you looked at both test and ODI his average is best and his 29 centuries are for winning cause of india.

    so please leave Sachin alone...

  • mayooran on December 6, 2007, 10:38 GMT

    Sanath!!! What a cricketer..it is with a heavy heart that I say bye to him...I just can't imagine a sri lankan team without him taking the field in a test match! This guy was a legend and even if he doesn't score heavily in a match, he still was THE entertainer!!! I wish you the best!!!! 400+ wickets and 18000+ runs in international cricket! who else has managed that??????? greatest ever!! Hats off!

  • Jay on December 6, 2007, 10:34 GMT

    It has finally arrived - the day that Sanath calls it a day in Test Cricket, and how sad it is no matter how inevitable it all was! Thank you for the memories Sanna, which I myself and countless millions of cricket fans the world over will treasure forever. You have been an amazing cricketer and a true pioneer - full stop. You have brought absolute glory for the little country that is Sri Lanka and allowed us Sri Lankans the opportunity walk with our heads held high with pride! The astounding tributes on this page are testimony to the fact that you have entered the imagination of countless cricket lovers the world over and become a true 'living' legend. I would like to highlight one more point -the utter humility, absolute sincereity and true unassuming nature with which Sanath conducted himself throughout his career - this was like a breath of fresh air that permeated through the often turbelent and acrimonious arena on which modern cricket is played. You played the gentlemans's game like a true gentleman. Oh we will miss you Sana! You have been my hero and you will always be so!! Thank you, most noble and humble son of Lanka - rest easy in retirement - May the Noble Triple Gem Bless You!!

  • Pilot on December 6, 2007, 10:32 GMT

    Sorry chaps. I intend taking the spotlight away from the great man for a moment.

    Theena : Cricket was played at school/Club Level for over 100 years before we achieved test status. Inetrnational cricket was played here for over 70 years before we achieved test status. Bandula was the first Captain outside Roy-Tho circle in about 70 years and Arjuna was the first in about 80 years. And Arjunas arrival signalled the end of Roy-Tho domination. It did not naturally happen. He made it happen. Four players from the 1979 Royal College team (Ranjan, Sudath Pasqual, Asantha and Rohan Jayasekara) played for Sri Lanka in 1980(before we achived test status, yes. yes..). Co-incidence? And then there were four players from Royal College in the next 26 years!

  • Eranga Abeygunawardane on December 6, 2007, 10:29 GMT

    Sri LAnka has Most Runs record in all Modes.But all occasions Sanath was on TOP Most Runs in Test 940 against india- Sanath was the top Scorer in that match 340 Most runs in ODI 440 against Scotland- Sanath was again on top scoring 152

    Most runs in 20 Twenty 280 again Sanath was on top scoring 88

    These statictics indicates Jayasuriya's match wining mind power.

  • Deshan M. on December 6, 2007, 10:27 GMT

    I really like your article. It really captured the spirit of the great man. In a way by revolutionising the game, he may have also sown the seeds of Australian domination - Adam Gilchrist opening the batting. I disagree with you on Arjuna Ranatunga thoough. The nurseries of Sri Lankan cricket captains are actually Ananda and Nalanda college. Ranatunga, Attapattu, among others are Alumni. The first Test captain, Bandula Warnapura and the present Captain Jayawardene are both alumni of Nalanda college. These schools have produced the majority of sri lankan captains. In that way, Ranatunga was not really an outsider. St. Thomas and Royal provide plenty of good cricketers but the leaders seem to come from Ananda and Nalanda.

  • Asela on December 6, 2007, 10:24 GMT

    Great stuff Sana... congrads.. hope to see u in the one dayers soon...at least for some time...

    thanks for the memories bro

  • Rajeevan on December 6, 2007, 10:21 GMT

    Great saying. Wonderful batsman in my time.

  • nipun on December 6, 2007, 10:13 GMT

    i like criket because of him, i started watching cricket because of him... he is my hero...

  • Ashfaq Shah on December 6, 2007, 10:06 GMT

    I always remember the havoc he created in Singapore against Pakistan. When he created the record of most runs in an over in ODIs (later broken by Afridi against the bowling of Jayasuria), the sheepish look on bowler Aamir Sohail and fielder trying to catch it (Ejaz Ahemd) was the kind of stuff legends are made of.

  • Bharath on December 6, 2007, 10:06 GMT

    Good tribute.

    Personally, Sanath's biggest impact on the game more than the runs he scored was to inspire a complete generation of flamboyant and big hitting players. In fact he can be credited with inspiring the rule changes for powerplays....and to be fair....he is the most devastating powerplay hitter.

    But dissapointing is the fact that he has never really done justice to his talent.... An average of 32 in ODI's from 403 games and an average of 40 in tests does not give a true picture of the impact that he has had on the game... He and Murali were the commanders of Arjuna's Army and can be credited with max points for srilanka's march towards being considered a "A" level cricketing country.

    Best wishes to him !

  • karthik on December 6, 2007, 10:02 GMT

    Seriously Mukul, you must consider a course in "English grammar and sentence formation". Your writing style is horrible. You use the commas, semicolons, colons and hyphens as if this is a 'use-more-punctuations-&-become-a-great-writer' competition! Actually this is becoming a huge problem among the contemporary journalists and bloggers. They are too lazy to spend atleast 5 seconds to form the proper sentence in their brains. They just write whatever comes to their mind in bits and pieces and then connect them using these punctuations. And; Lo, Behold! "The work: of a - 'Genius'"(pun intended:on bloggers;-)

  • Ian Priyanath on December 6, 2007, 9:54 GMT

    Sanath, Thank you very much for bringing so much excitement, pleasure and joy to a cricket tragic likes me! It is not easy to hold the beer on one hand and hold the edge of the seat with other hand and keep legs crossed not going to take a piss because didn’t want to miss next 6 or 4 or what ever….!!!! Sana pls keep on hitting the ball and Mukul pls keep on righting!! It is a pleasure !!!!!

  • avi on December 6, 2007, 9:33 GMT

    thsnk you sanath for the way you approached the game, while the stats dont lie they definitely dont tell the whole story, bcos sanath had one thing which set him apart from others- the aggression x-factor, the ability to play in the same manner as sehwag and gichrist now do and thus turn turn a match in your team's favour. i remember watching you smash a 78-ball 100 against New Zealand at eden park in 2001, while at the other end that other great now retired sri lankan batsman marvan atapattu had only fifty, as well as your scintillating effort in the 2005 vb series against the aussies when you had been written off, but finally your brilliant 99-ball 152 against the poms last year which made a chase of 321 seem like a stroll as you guys got there with 12 overs to spare. thanks and hope to see you keep smashing bowlers in one-dayers!!!

  • Anthony on December 6, 2007, 9:27 GMT

    The true greatness of the man is showcased in the fact that, for once, everyone on a Cricinfo blog-wall completes agrees on something: That Sanath Jayasuriya was/is an amazing player.

  • Diego on December 6, 2007, 9:27 GMT

    Sri Lanka is a place with full of racism and cast problems. Singhalese against Tamils, Tamils against Muslims, Muslims against Singhalese, Colombo people against outstation people........ It is a nation, they hardly give a chance for outstation cricketers and most of them were unknown. With all these difficulties, there is a person call Mr. Sanath Jayasuriya (MASTER BLASTER) born in Matara a (fishing village). Jesus My Main Man, How did you manage?

    SIR. S. JAYASURIYA, THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR THE SERVICE AND UNFORGETTABLE MEMORISES. I AM CONFIDENT, YOU WILL BE THE NEXT JESUS CHRIST IN THIS PLANET, IF YOU TRY HARD.

    Diego.

  • A.R.Subramania Iyer on December 6, 2007, 9:23 GMT

    Watching the final moments of the first Test at Kandy (on the telly,of course) my heart was pounding when Jayasurya was batting. Well past the half century mark, I was hoping that he will complete the hundred bringing in the fitting finale to an extra ordinary career. But alas that was not to be! Thank you,Mr.Kesavan for an excellent tribute to this genuis from Matara.

  • A.R.Subramania Iyer on December 6, 2007, 9:18 GMT

    Watching the final moments of the first Test at Kandy (on the telly,of course) my heart was pounding when Jayasurya was batting. Well past the half century mark, I was hoping that he will complete the hundred bringing in the fitting finale to an extra ordinary career. But alas that was not to be! Thank you,Mr.Kesavan for an excellent tribute to this genuis from Matara. Am glad we will see Jayasurya for some more time in ODIs. He will be remembered for showing what batting should be in the early overs. Remember one Sunil Gavaskar who crawled to 30 and odd in plenty of overs?

  • Kham on December 6, 2007, 9:18 GMT

    Ezhil...

    The way he put fear back on opening bowlers will never been forgotten...

    N the same way he TREATED PRASAD, SRINATH, KUMBLE, CHANUHAN N KURUVILLA will be also never forgotten.... :):):)

  • Theena on December 6, 2007, 9:10 GMT

    Nuwan: I could have sworn he was Anandian and not Nalandian - partly because I have an Anandian friend who is always on about how his school produced Sri Lanka's first test captain. Now I feel stupid for saying Mukul was misinformed :) Thank you for correcting me, good sir.

    Ranil: thanks.

    As for the only Royalist in the current team, the less said the better.

  • HLANGL on December 6, 2007, 9:09 GMT

    Ranil had said "Answer to Theena, Jehan Mubarak is an Old Royalist currently playing for the national team". True... But these experiments with Mubarak are nothing more than a pure joke, entirly ridiculous. What speciality he holds to be given these many chances? Is it the flair, the technique/temperement or the match winning ability as an explosive batsman ? I can't see any. He merely averages a 29-30 even in Sri Lankan club games. Sri Lanka had already lost some much much more gifted players especially in Saman Jayantha, Indika De Sarem, Shantha Kalavitigoda, Jayantha De Silva etc. luckily Chamara Silva escaped from the list, atleast for the time being. What would happen to Chamara Kapugedara ? Isn't it worth giving more early exposure for him at his early 20s rather than waiting him to be 27-28 ? I personally feel, if the selectors had ANY idea of what the word GRATITUDE means, Jayasuriya would have been given the opportunity to play this entire series & then to quit tests. Atleast he would reach the 7000 run mark which would be a significant milestone for any who played the game with such explosiveness & charisma. Sorry, this seems out of the main topic, but this point has to be mentioned anyhow. Anyway, weldone Jayasuriya, you would have done it better in tests (especially during the last 3 years), but even what you have achieved is simply remarkable. As batmen, at the peak of the careers, you & De Silva elivated the batting to the heights achieved by a handful of greats in the game. The statsitics of both can simply be misleading on surface, unless the viewer is much more analytical. Weldone again, thanks for the memories.

  • Mahesh on December 6, 2007, 9:04 GMT

    I am a Sri Lankan. First of all let me praise the best cricketer of all time for his valiant service. I saw some comments discriminating cricketers by schools. That was the biggest problem in Sri Lankan Cricket. Arjuna was a good player for Sri Lanka but still at the end he distroy Sri Lankan cricket by influencing selection and all forms of the game. I respect good players weather they are from south or north, Ananda or Royal. For being a good cricketer you do not need to study at a Buddhist Sinhala school.

    Let me praise Sanath who is from a rural city and moderate Family Neither a Royalist nor an Anandian but most importantly a great cricketer.

    I was really tankful to all the Non Sri Lankans who joined to praise this great man. Thanx a lot for thinking beyound countries while some are still stick to religions races and schools.

  • Mark Gore on December 6, 2007, 8:54 GMT

    The most important question asked by the historians when judging the greatness of a batsman, and often rightly so is, how many did he score against the best team in the world then? So how many did Jayasuriya score against Australia would be the logical question to ask. However, in the rarest of the rare cases, historians tend to overlook this pertinent question. I am very sure they would do that in case of Jayasuriya. He was the ultimate renaissance man for attacking batsmanship, format of the game, whether tests or anything of the pajama variety, be damned. No boundary rope was to far for his ropey muscled forearms. No bowler too great for his excalibur like angled bat to respect. There are very few batsmen I would pay again and again to watch them bat the whole day. Just four in fact. Sanath Jaysuriya heads that list followed by Lara, Gilchrist and Mark Waugh. And yes, it has well and truly started, this retirement cycle. Mcgrath, Warne, Lara, Inzamam, Jaysuriya. Very soon, Tendulkar, Dravid, Hayden, Gilchrist, Pollock, Kumble. Doesn't the sky already seem a bit dull without these brightest of the stars?

  • shaz on December 6, 2007, 8:53 GMT

    hi guys....thnks fo all the comments about Sanath, as sri lankans we all respect for what he did for SL cricket.

    he'll always remember by every sri lankan since we will not see another santh in world cricket, at least still we can see him on ODI's..

    get ready for his final fireworks in Australia..

    cheers..

  • Sumit on December 6, 2007, 8:53 GMT

    As an ardent cricket fan AND a patriot, The greatest compliment I can give to Sanath Jayasuriya would be that as a patriot, he was the only batsman who has struck real fear in my heart at the start of the Sri Lankan innings, and as a cricket fanatic, I couldn't bring myself to switch off the TV even when he was mauling our bowlers, like I normally do with others.

    Statistics be damned, there has been no other like him!

    A fantastic, modest and entertaining genius who will be cherished forever.

    Light up some more ODIs Sanath... before you walk away completely into the sunset.

  • ranga on December 6, 2007, 8:49 GMT

    One day is what it is today because of him, no doubt about it. But I agree witha couple of others who say this hitting was first employed by Mark Greatbatch & probably conceptualized by Martin Crowe

  • AMIT on December 6, 2007, 8:39 GMT

    U are absolutely spot on in ur article.We all will now be missing that brutel force while sending the ball over fence.

  • Pilot on December 6, 2007, 8:27 GMT

    Great piece Mukhul!

    About Arjuna being the first outsider - He was only the second ever to Captain Sri Lanka/Ceylon outside the Royal-Thomian fraternity. Warnapura though the first Captain his stint was brief, and was unceremoniously dumped in favour of a Thomian Duleep Mendis. Ranjan Madugalle the Royalist took over from him. Then came General Arjuna who stayed almost for life and changed Sri Lankan Cricket (or is it safe to say Asian Cricket) forever. I belong to the Roy-Tho fraternity but Arjuna's arrival as Captain was the best thing that happened to SLC.

    P.S. Sorry for going off at a tangent!

  • YAQEEN SARIFFODEEN on December 6, 2007, 8:26 GMT

    you are one of the greatest ever test & one day batsmen in the world never to see back again from sri lanka

  • HLANGL on December 6, 2007, 8:23 GMT

    This article seems to be nicely composed. But it would have reflected the true meening if some additions were done at few places. This is no way an insult to the auther, he has done a remarkable job in composing this material. "What's more, he did this in Test cricket as an opening batsman, with a triple century against India in Colombo in 1997 and that magnificent double century against England at The Oval in 1998 which, as much as Muralitharan's bowling, won them the Test match. It was one of the great attacking innings in the history of Test cricket, played as it was to force a result in limited time. "... What about the majestic innings of 254 made against Pakistan IN pakistan in 2004-05 against an attack consisted of Shoaib Acqtar constantly delivering over 150kmph. Jayasuriya simply won the match single handedly there, partnering Dilhara fernando for 100+ runs(102, if i'm not mistaken)for the 9th wicket where Fernando scored less than 5 runs of them. This happened in the 2nd innings of the 1st test match of the 2004-05 series in Pakistan. "There were better batsmen than Jayasuriya during his time in international cricket and there will be many better ones in the future"... true. But the measure of the batsmanship should be judged by taking many facets into account, not just the average & the aggregate where most of the not so gifted players are targetting at. All the flair, the situation of the game, how he turned the games on his own, how influential/effective his runs were, how his mere presence changed the face of the game/opposition etc. otherwise even a lesser player, without taking much chances at the crease by just playing the role of a run accumulator for his very own sake, would end up having a higher average thus bracketting as a better player. Needless to say, it's not fair.

  • Ishad Kabeer on December 6, 2007, 8:22 GMT

    Sanath Tehan Jayasuriya, the reason for me to love cricket. I grew up watching his fireworks. I'm not sure about cricket lovers in other countries, but everyone in Sri Lanka just ceased doing whatever they were doing when Jayasuriya walked into the field to bat. People from all walks of life and all races just freezed to watch him bat.

    Sanath, cheers for the entertainment..

  • Ed Smythe on December 6, 2007, 8:14 GMT

    The great thing about Jayasuriya was that despite national loyalties, cricket lovers of all stripes actually WANTED him to perform, even when he was grinding the home-town attack into dust. In my memory, only Tendulkar as a 16-year-old has had such universal appeal. This says more about Jayasuriya's place in cricket history than any statistic ever will.

  • maxime on December 6, 2007, 8:11 GMT

    he is extraordinary.

  • Venkateswara Prasad. K on December 6, 2007, 8:02 GMT

    I am indian. However i have been a avid follower of Sanath since childhood. He has brought so much of joy and entertainment of followers of cricket all over the world. Today when i hear the news that he has retired from test cricket i feel as if a part of me has retired and i feel very sad. What a player and a human being. He never had a harsh word for anybody. Very sincere to the cause of his beloved country and utterly unselfish. Even statistics wise also more than 400 international wickets and around 18,000 international runs at a phenomenal strike rate. I have very rarely seen Sri Lanka lose in ODI's when Sanath gets a score of 50 or more. Bye Bye Sanath you will always remain in our memories. We will miss you very much. Thank you for all the entertainment for these 18 years.

  • Joshi on December 6, 2007, 7:58 GMT

    All of Cricket Lovers over the WORLD LOVE Jayasuriya,not only because of his awsome shots but humble man inside him.

  • Siri Herath on December 6, 2007, 7:53 GMT

    A very well thoughtout and compiled article which goes beyond the face of stats. Sanath Jayasuriya showed how to play entertaining cricket for all cricket lovers (not just for his compatriots) coupled with mild mannerisms and graceful charm that befits the buddhist ethics within which he grew up in down south Matara. But for me, the most potent of his legacy is his statement to the elitist cricket selection panels from Colombo that cricketing talent (if nothing else!)exists in abundance outside their little world called Colombo. What is more, he did that with swashbuckling arrogance which all cricket lovers, far and wide, irrespective of their national allegience enjoyed so much.Thanks for the memories Sanath!!

  • Chin on December 6, 2007, 7:52 GMT

    First of all, let me answer two points to Theena. Bandula Warnapura, Sri Lankan first test captain was from Nalanda College and not from Ananda. Jehan Mubarek, who played the recent test in Kandy was from Royal College and 4th Royalist to represent Sri Lankan test team besides Ranjan Madugalle (1982) Ashantha De Mel (1982) and Roshan Jurangpathy (1985).

    Excellent article Mukul, summing up of a wonderful carrier of a simple man, who was instrumental in transforming the game. The point, statistic will not reflect the true picture is even valid for Aravinda De Silva, who also a real entertainer and a crowd puller to the game.

  • krishna on December 6, 2007, 7:46 GMT

    I totally agree that santha was a good batsmen. But he was strugling against good fast bowling all the time. He was very destrucive against gentle/medium pace.

  • Damith on December 6, 2007, 7:43 GMT

    Theena, Jehan Mubarak is a Royalist, but I think he might be the last Royalist they pick looking at how he has done :)

    Great article and we shall miss his blitzkreig starts at the top of the order.

  • Jonathan Plowman on December 6, 2007, 7:39 GMT

    Anshuman, I don't think you're seeing things the way everyone else sees it. You are talking about other batsmen who have done this deed in an isolated match or two. Any decent opening batsman can contribute with a quickfire innings on their day. I am certain there have been many other quickfire innings before Jayasuriya in the 1996 World Cup, but it was what he did in that world cup in multiple innings that brought this style of opening batting to the fore. He was consistent in his determination to tear apart the opening bowling, leaving the bowling team bedazzled and vulnerable. He brought in that fear of conceding 90 -100 runs in the first 15 overs. Greatbatch and Tendulkar's innings' before Jayasuriya's revolutionisation of ODI cricket, were brilliant but isolated.

    What we are really discussing is not who designed the "prototype", but more about who perfected and "marketed" the product and made it consistent. About who made the "product" attractive to the consumers and made the rivals run to their drawing boards to find a way to counter it or to replicate the procedure perfected by Jayasuriya.

    I think if that isn't going to shed some light on why Jayasuriya has been credited to this style of batting, then your opinions are too strong and biased.

    Either way, congratulations go out to Mr Jayasuriya. Your cricket has been a pleasure to watch over the years, even when it was my team you were tearing apart. You have made the cricketing world much better for it. I wish you the best of luck in your continuing ODI career, and hope some of your best is yet to come. Thanks.

  • nagasamy.g on December 6, 2007, 7:37 GMT

    Thanks Kesavan.It is a refreshing change to see some positive impartial comments.The entire industry is bent in eugolising our players only for converting wins into hard earned draws and defeats and is all due to the interest in protecting their personal figures and averages.SANATH is selfless man meant for the team.The opponents heave a sigh of relief on seeing him back.Cricket is living because of such players only.

  • Ezhil on December 6, 2007, 7:25 GMT

    Jayasuriya has to be credited with changing the game, not only batting but also bowling. Before he arrived on the scene, opening pace bowlers were always treated with a bit of fear. That fear factor was permanently removed from the batsmen's mind singlehandedly by Jayasuriya. The way he put fear back into the minds of Donald, Devilliers, McGrath, Pollock, Younis, Akram will never be forgotten.

    The so called other pioneers - Mark Greatbatch and Sachin - showed only glimpses of the destructive power an opener can have. But Jayasuriya was the first to show that you can do that for years together. Please do not even mention Kris Srikkanth in this group as he was known for blind swishing than well intended shots.

  • Ravishankar on December 6, 2007, 7:20 GMT

    Moses,you are right it was indeed changed by Srikanth and to an extend by Greatbatch.But definitely, revelutionised by Sanath and a new trend was set to many openers to follow. Well done Mukul for identifying why Jayasuriya is a great crickeer.Yes ,will remain in the hearts of all cricketlovers for developing the srilankan brand of cricket by his cricketing skills with humility.

  • Ravishankar on December 6, 2007, 7:19 GMT

    Moses,you are right it was indeed changed by Srikanth and to an extend by Greatbatch.But definitely, revelutionised by Sanath and a new trend was set to many openers to follow. Well done Mukul for identifying why Jayasuriya is a great crickeer.Yes ,will remain in the hearts of all cricketlovers for developing the srilankan brand of cricket by his cricketing skills with humility.

  • Lee Hill on December 6, 2007, 7:18 GMT

    Great player, Jayasuriya, but I'm moved to comment on the beauty of Mukul Kesavan's writing. It has an elegance and grace that I find irresistible.

  • krishna on December 6, 2007, 7:09 GMT

    We won't feel the value of anything whenever it is with us. Truely santha is something like that. Generaly if a saying that sanath is not good against good fast bowling. But he had some marvelous innings against Aus/Eng in seaming/pace conditions. We are missing a good crickter..

  • Rajesh Nj on December 6, 2007, 7:08 GMT

    For the second time Jayasuriya has been forced to call it quits. He certainly deserved better. It's true that his Test record since his return after announcing his retirement the first time has not been that great but then the decision to quit the first time itself was a forced one and that must have played on his mind and added to the pressure.

    Along with Aravinda de Silva and Muraliharan, Jayasuriya was one of the biggest match-winners for Srilanka. It's a bit disappointing that he wont be around anymore in Tests. But we can take heart from the fact that at least he would be playing One-dayers for some more time !

  • Enrico Pereira on December 6, 2007, 6:56 GMT

    Mukul and all the rest, as a Sri Lankan, any comment of mine would be nothing short of being biased.... but, it is absolutely wonderful to see such appreciation for one of crickets greatest! On behalf of Sanath J, THANK YOU all.

  • Paul Joshua Mathew on December 6, 2007, 6:51 GMT

    Guys guys Guys!!!

    SANATH JAYASURIYA a.k.a the MATARA MAULLER wasn't a Sachin or a MArk Greatbatch, he wasn't an Aravinda DeSilva either. You guys have got it wrong. What Mr. Mukul was trying to say was that he was teh guy who changed the game was played. Yes, there might have been those odd innnings when the aforementione players mauled attacks before him, but this was the guy who consistently took bowling lineups apart with no mention in order, as of Australia to west Indies.

    Just striking the ball was his forte.

    Yeah Sri Lanka got their limbs running with Arjuna, Aravinda, Vass, Muralitharan and not to forget the ever dependable Mahanama or Kaluwitharana. These were the guys which made sub continental teams look like teams rather than one man armies like Javed's Pakistanis and our own Sachin's Indians. Fielding was never a forte of these teams till sri Lanka came. am moving away from the topic, but the point is that this was one guy who changed the way the game was played, with consistent intensity.

    As rightly pointed out by Mr. Mukul, thanks to him(and the confidence shown in his abilities by Whatmore) we have teh devastating players like Sehwag and Gilchrist, who tear bowling lineups apart, coming through in the Test Cricket form.

    I am a big fan of Test Cricket and thanks to him I saw an interesting way tests have been played since his days, yeah, i have seen Slater also play in a similar fashion.

    The ultimate thing is to get runs and that he did, till then, no matter how u get it, which angle u hold thebat or whatever.

    I love classy batting and the classy way in which test cricket is played, but I do also have the respect for such players who without having those techniques, to go on to make a new generation of Cricket.

    Cheers to the MAULER. Let the legacy continue...

  • Paul Joshua Mathew on December 6, 2007, 6:51 GMT

    Guys guys Guys!!!

    SANATH JAYASURIYA a.k.a the MATARA MAULLER wasn't a Sachin or a MArk Greatbatch, he wasn't an Aravinda DeSilva either. You guys have got it wrong. What Mr. Mukul was trying to say was that he was teh guy who changed the game was played. Yes, there might have been those odd innnings when the aforementione players mauled attacks before him, but this was the guy who consistently took bowling lineups apart with no mention in order, as of Australia to west Indies.

    Just striking the ball was his forte.

    Yeah Sri Lanka got their limbs running with Arjuna, Aravinda, Vass, Muralitharan and not to forget the ever dependable Mahanama or Kaluwitharana. These were the guys which made sub continental teams look like teams rather than one man armies like Javed's Pakistanis and our own Sachin's Indians. Fielding was never a forte of these teams till sri Lanka came. am moving away from the topic, but the point is that this was one guy who changed the way the game was played, with consistent intensity.

    As rightly pointed out by Mr. Mukul, thanks to him(and the confidence shown in his abilities by Whatmore) we have teh devastating players like Sehwag and Gilchrist, who tear bowling lineups apart, coming through in the Test Cricket form.

    I am a big fan of Test Cricket and thanks to him I saw an interesting way tests have been played since his days, yeah, i have seen Slater also play in a similar fashion.

    The ultimate thing is to get runs and that he did, till then, no matter how u get it, which angle u hold thebat or whatever.

    I love classy batting and the classy way in which test cricket is played, but I do also have the respect for such players who without having those techniques, to go on to make a new generation of Cricket.

    Cheers to the MAULER. Let the mauling continue...

  • Moses on December 6, 2007, 6:33 GMT

    I agree with everyone that Sanath was a great entertainer. The power, and the stamina and fitness of this man will be unparalleled. But for many who have forgotten the real man who changed the way openers batted in the initial overs, it was none other than our own Kris Srikkanth.

  • vijay vedala on December 6, 2007, 6:29 GMT

    Being a left arm spinner who was a handy batsman lower down the order, Sanath conquered great heights as a batsman, more often than not haunting India and giving nightmares to a certain B.K.V. Prasad.

    Though Mark Greatbatch was the first slam bang opener, it was Jayasuriya who revolutionised the way opening batman approached ODIs. However his exploits in Test matches is not to be forgotten as he has posted many big scores including a whirlwhind 340 against India.

    He has left behind many fond memories and cricket lovers would only be grateful for that

  • Nuwan on December 6, 2007, 6:26 GMT

    Theena's interesting post has some factual errors. Sri Lanka's first test captain is not an alumni of Ananda College. Banduala Warnapura is an alumni of Nalanda.

    Jehan Mubarak, who played in the recently concluded first test against England, is an alumni of Royal College.

  • Tariq Javed on December 6, 2007, 6:23 GMT

    It is sad for me .This guy was and is the beauty of cricket .I am a Pakistani and always want Pakistan to win .But believe me or not, for Jaysuria I did not have any boundries of any country .He is SUPER MAN, SPIDERMAN, BATMAN and above all NICEMAN of the CRICKET .Long life Jaysuria we love you.

  • Manish Arora on December 6, 2007, 6:18 GMT

    Sanath Jayasuriya, the matara-morterer, the cricketer who not only reinvented himself but the way the modern cricket is played too. In hindersight, I feel that the twenty-twenty version of the game has evolved only due to the way the game can be played as was shown by Jayasuriya. He gave birth to a new breed of the batsmen who are capable of hitting ball out of the ground more often than not without fearing if the ball is new or if the ball is meeting the bat right under the eye. His stats might not look as awesome as Tendulkars or Laras but his sheer prowess at the crease ans that too more importanatly in the high pressuer games shows his mental strength. Though his reportaire and place on the cricket field can never be replaced he will always be remembered as the most powerful cricketers in the history of the world cricket who alongwith Ranatunga,Arvinda de Silva, Murali and Vaas transformed an underdog SriLankan team to a world beater. Cheers Sanath!!!!

  • Ranil on December 6, 2007, 6:10 GMT

    Answer to Theena, Jehan Mubarak is an Old Royalist currently playing for the national team

  • David on December 6, 2007, 5:57 GMT

    Thanks for the memories Sanath Jayasuriya. You were a cricketer who played the game we play in our dreams.

  • Rajeevan on December 6, 2007, 5:56 GMT

    He did revolutionise world cricket.. no other team before the 1996 world cup took the initiative in the first 15 overs the way he did with his partner in crime Romesh Kaluwitharana... He is an outstanding batsman and a strong competitor in both forms of the game. I am looking forward to watching him play in the ODIs against Australia and India on Australian soil. A very tough challenge at the end of his career but if he can lead Sri Lanka to an unlikely victory in the odi series he will be remembered as one of the greats. Great Article i really enjoyed it!

  • RR on December 6, 2007, 5:56 GMT

    Hi Anshuman. you are correct in saying that other batsman had their turn at explosive innings before jayasuriya became famous. But the *consistent* brutality of the batting display (starting from the one-day tournament in Aus in 1995 onwards) is why people will always remember jayasuriya as the pathbreaker. Talk about consistency, just last year in England (2006), in the last ODI jayasuriya smashed, not just scored, a 150-odd. So for 10+ years, jayasuriya has been doing exactly what he is famous for. He showed that it is possible to consistently pulverise bowling attacks *and* score big at the same time (not just a quickfire 20 for example).

  • Aashish on December 6, 2007, 5:44 GMT

    Usually on retirement people give compliments like "Viv was a great player, there never was and never will be one like him". For Jayasuriya, is reserved this: "He was a great player, there never was but there will be many like him." One form of greatness is to shine the brightest, another form is to show how it is possible for stars to shine brighter than before.

  • Theena on December 6, 2007, 5:42 GMT

    Wonderful post, but I'll have to disagree with placing Ranatunga in the same bracket as Murali and Jayasuriya, claiming that he is an outsider. Arjuna studied at Ananda College - Colombo's leading all boys Buddhist school. It is Ananda College that provided Sri Lanka's first test captain, Bandula Warnapura ,along with a number of Test batsmen who have had varying degrees of impact on the game in Sri Lanka: Marvan Atapattu, Thilan Samaraweera, Arjuna himself. To put that in the same category as Jayasuriya – who hails from a small Southern fishing village – is just misinformed.

    Sorry to go off tangent, but that line on Royal College and St Thomas got me thinking. It's actually been a while since a Royalist or a Thomian played for the national team. Someone correct me if I am wrong.

    Thanks for setting me right: comes of being knowing without knowing enough! Mukul

  • P.K.Ganesh on December 6, 2007, 5:35 GMT

    Dear Mukul, as always a well-written tribute to a legend. But you have missed out the Mad Max, Aravind De Silva. He has to be part of the group which changed Sri Lankan cricket forever.

  • Anshuman on December 6, 2007, 5:29 GMT

    Well,Jayasuriya was ana wesome talent...but may be Mr .Kesavan.really doesn't watch Cricket that often..that's y he seemsto have forgotten a certain Mark Gratbatch and his pyrotechnics in the 92 WCAnd a certain Sachin Tendulkar who slammed a 48 ball 82 in his girst match as an opener...hey were the real path breakers as far as i am concerned and not Jayasuriya.May be their(Srilankans) amazing WC triumph causes everyone to believe in this fallacy,but not me .But still he was a genius.

  • channa senanayake on December 6, 2007, 5:27 GMT

    Excellent post mukul. he was the ultimate original and one batsmen who will not be compared to any other that we may see in the future. His stance, mannerisms before facing the ball, the short arm jabs and the horizontal cut to the square leg boundary will never be the same as he does it. Hopefully we will see him more at his best in the one-dayers.

  • Roy on December 6, 2007, 5:24 GMT

    Jayasuriya revolutionised the game of cricket. Averages and asthetics are good pointers to one's career; but memories and impact are always so much better. Great article.

  • Sean on December 6, 2007, 5:23 GMT

    One of my all-time favourites - a really nice guy as well as a great cricketer. I'm glad that we still have him for ODIs.

  • Pete on December 6, 2007, 5:07 GMT

    Most of the time I disagree with a lot of what you write. Not this time. Brilliant and very correct article.

  • Srivathsa on December 6, 2007, 5:02 GMT

    I read this with more than a tinge of regret. One of the great batsmen of my generation retires. I still remember the savage 189 against India (which I sadly did not enjoy as much then) and the six against Phil Defreitas in the 1996 WC. I can never forget the square cuts for six hitting the stadium with the ball pretty much still travelling horizontal. Those forearms and lightning reflexes made it look all too easy.

    Thanks Sanath for the entertainment over the last 12 years.

  • Hema Adhikari on December 6, 2007, 4:57 GMT

    How true ! Great post Mukul. You bring certain insight that is lacking from the cricket writing these days. Your ability to get to the point and see beyond statistics is very important. Jaysuriya was truly a great player and his timing of his shots as well as his retirement has been spot on !!

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  • Hema Adhikari on December 6, 2007, 4:57 GMT

    How true ! Great post Mukul. You bring certain insight that is lacking from the cricket writing these days. Your ability to get to the point and see beyond statistics is very important. Jaysuriya was truly a great player and his timing of his shots as well as his retirement has been spot on !!

  • Srivathsa on December 6, 2007, 5:02 GMT

    I read this with more than a tinge of regret. One of the great batsmen of my generation retires. I still remember the savage 189 against India (which I sadly did not enjoy as much then) and the six against Phil Defreitas in the 1996 WC. I can never forget the square cuts for six hitting the stadium with the ball pretty much still travelling horizontal. Those forearms and lightning reflexes made it look all too easy.

    Thanks Sanath for the entertainment over the last 12 years.

  • Pete on December 6, 2007, 5:07 GMT

    Most of the time I disagree with a lot of what you write. Not this time. Brilliant and very correct article.

  • Sean on December 6, 2007, 5:23 GMT

    One of my all-time favourites - a really nice guy as well as a great cricketer. I'm glad that we still have him for ODIs.

  • Roy on December 6, 2007, 5:24 GMT

    Jayasuriya revolutionised the game of cricket. Averages and asthetics are good pointers to one's career; but memories and impact are always so much better. Great article.

  • channa senanayake on December 6, 2007, 5:27 GMT

    Excellent post mukul. he was the ultimate original and one batsmen who will not be compared to any other that we may see in the future. His stance, mannerisms before facing the ball, the short arm jabs and the horizontal cut to the square leg boundary will never be the same as he does it. Hopefully we will see him more at his best in the one-dayers.

  • Anshuman on December 6, 2007, 5:29 GMT

    Well,Jayasuriya was ana wesome talent...but may be Mr .Kesavan.really doesn't watch Cricket that often..that's y he seemsto have forgotten a certain Mark Gratbatch and his pyrotechnics in the 92 WCAnd a certain Sachin Tendulkar who slammed a 48 ball 82 in his girst match as an opener...hey were the real path breakers as far as i am concerned and not Jayasuriya.May be their(Srilankans) amazing WC triumph causes everyone to believe in this fallacy,but not me .But still he was a genius.

  • P.K.Ganesh on December 6, 2007, 5:35 GMT

    Dear Mukul, as always a well-written tribute to a legend. But you have missed out the Mad Max, Aravind De Silva. He has to be part of the group which changed Sri Lankan cricket forever.

  • Theena on December 6, 2007, 5:42 GMT

    Wonderful post, but I'll have to disagree with placing Ranatunga in the same bracket as Murali and Jayasuriya, claiming that he is an outsider. Arjuna studied at Ananda College - Colombo's leading all boys Buddhist school. It is Ananda College that provided Sri Lanka's first test captain, Bandula Warnapura ,along with a number of Test batsmen who have had varying degrees of impact on the game in Sri Lanka: Marvan Atapattu, Thilan Samaraweera, Arjuna himself. To put that in the same category as Jayasuriya – who hails from a small Southern fishing village – is just misinformed.

    Sorry to go off tangent, but that line on Royal College and St Thomas got me thinking. It's actually been a while since a Royalist or a Thomian played for the national team. Someone correct me if I am wrong.

    Thanks for setting me right: comes of being knowing without knowing enough! Mukul

  • Aashish on December 6, 2007, 5:44 GMT

    Usually on retirement people give compliments like "Viv was a great player, there never was and never will be one like him". For Jayasuriya, is reserved this: "He was a great player, there never was but there will be many like him." One form of greatness is to shine the brightest, another form is to show how it is possible for stars to shine brighter than before.