England v Sri Lanka, 1st ODI, The Oval June 27, 2011

Jayasuriya poised for farewell match


Sanath Jayasuriya will bring to an end a 22-year international career when he makes his final appearance for his country at the venue - The Oval - where he made his highest score against England in all formats: 213 off 278 balls in the one-off Test 13 years ago in 1998.

Asked whether Sri Lanka had anything planned for him, stand-in captain Thilina Kandamby said, "We haven't decided yet but we should do something. Sanath is one of the legends that we have ever produced, probably the best one-day player we have got in our country. I wish him all the best and I hope he will do well."

Any chance of Jayasuriya, who turns 42 on Thursday, changing his mind and staying back for the rest of the series was ruled out by Kandamby who is most likely to lead Sri Lanka in the opening ODI with a question mark still hanging over the fitness of captain Tillakaratne Dilshan.

"Sanath won't be staying on for the rest of the series. He has already decided to retire after the first one-day. That's his call and we can't help it," said Kandamby. "If he makes a hundred tomorrow that's the best farewell he can get but that's not within our control.

"Sanath is a brilliant guy so when you have someone like him in your side it gives us a lot of confidence. We know he can deliver with both bat and ball and he is a very important player to have in the team."

Sri Lanka used Jayasuriya's wily spin to successfully probe on Kevin Pietersen's weakness against left-arm bowlers during their nine-wicket win in the Twenty20 International against England in Bristol on Saturday. Pietersen had raced to 41 from 26 balls when Jayasuriya was introduced and it needed just two balls for him to disturb Pietersen's stumps.

"We have different plans for Pietersen. He has not been playing well against left-armers. We have that in the back of our mind and we hope that we can get him out early," said Kandamby.

Jayasuriya is the first ruling Member of Parliament to actively play international cricket after winning his seat at his hometown Matara at Sri Lanka's general elections held last year. For England's captain Alastair Cook, the circumstances of Jayasuriya's recall were unexpected and he is one hoping the farewell isn't too pleasant. "It's slightly surprising for sure," said Cook. "But he reinvented the way people play one-day cricket years ago. Hopefully we don't send him out on a high."

Kandamby said that Dilshan has not been ruled out of tomorrow's match and that there was a 50-50 chance of him playing. "We'll take a decision after practice."

In the event of Dilshan being ruled out of the match, Kandamby said that Mahela Jayawardene would open the batting with Jayasuriya as he did in the Twenty20 at Bristol where he went onto score a match-winning 72 not out off 57 balls.

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  • Dummy4 on June 28, 2011, 18:13 GMT

    I heard Sangakarra and Jayawardene criticizing Jayasurya for his return but one question to both of them agreed both of them are good batsmen but can they match the flamboyance of jayasurya, name one extra ordinary record which sanga or mahela has created , even in world cup final against after getting sehwag and sachin's wicket they could not win, so both you sanga and mahela take a bow in front of jayasurya and consider yourself lucky that you got a chance to play aside with crickets biggest loose Conner SANATH JAYASURYA.

  • Fleming on June 28, 2011, 16:30 GMT

    Thank God this day has finally come when Jayasuriya is leaving international cricket...He should hv left 2 yrs back...He wasn't performing but was lucky to be selected in playing XI every time...Lets hope Ricky Ponting overtakes him in career runs next month when the Aussies take on Sri Lanka...Good bye Jayasuriya and thanks very much for leaving international cricket finally...

  • Marlon on June 28, 2011, 16:06 GMT

    sadly I saw many Sanath haters among cricket viewers in SL before the world cup by seing negative comments here.Many SL fans didn't want him in WC squad.Some haters are Sanga, Mahela and few senior players,hated Sanath and Vaas.All these 2 legends wanted was a respectable farewell as well big last effort to the SL cricket at the world cup.It's not Aravinda who hated Sanath/ Vaas. Worldcup squad was selected by Trevor.B & Sanga.I like Sanga as a player. He made one of the biggest mistake in the WC selection.Sanga certainly had 75% of power to bring Sanath/Vaas in than those useless Silva,Samare,Kapu where none of them are up to the standards of this 41 year old legend, who will still outplay these 3 useless players in onedayers in batting,bowling,feilding & fitness.96 WC was won mainly becoz Sanath contributed over 75%.SL authorities+some fans must learn to respect SL legends, these legends have done so much to SL cricket & deserved a grand farewell at WC.Respecting brings glory & wins

  • Sarathi on June 28, 2011, 15:17 GMT

    one of thegreatest of the all ODI cricketers.wish you very best of luck Sanath for your future.we Pakistanis always remember you as a true legend with cricket goes on and on.

  • John on June 28, 2011, 14:27 GMT

    Everyone loves Sanath... a clean cricketer and a fighter. Has played the many best one day innings and he will be remembered by all and still i would say the best one day all rounder. Thanks Sanath...we all love you.

  • Lanka on June 28, 2011, 12:59 GMT

    The end of an ERA....

    THE SADDEST DAY IN MY LIFE. Yes, Sanath TERROR Jayasuriya made watching cricket pleasurable. A simple and modest guy despite his exploits in the field. THERE CAN - AND NEVER WILL - be another Jayasuriya. He was unique in more ways than one. I shall never watch cricket again with the same paasion and involvement. Sanath was the APOGEE for all my involvement with sports, particularly, cricket.

    Long live Sanath.


    VSK Iyer/LANKA LOVER Muscat

  • Dummy4 on June 28, 2011, 12:39 GMT

    we dont need young players if old players are playing well. we need only one thing . we just need good cricketers. we should not talk about unexperienced young players for any international game if old players perform well . we can not talk about feture of cricket always without performing well present. and i must say that jayasuriya should not retire if he can play well than young players for his country. if jayasuriya can make wins for srilanka, we dont need young unexperienced players in to the squad for jayasuriya.

  • Dummy4 on June 28, 2011, 12:03 GMT

    Didn't think this day would ever come BUT the time has come to say the final good bye to one of my favorite players of all times ..SANATH JAYASURIYA...good bye legend good bye my friend its time lets enjoy seen U one last time Wear that Sri Lanka jersey

  • Dummy4 on June 28, 2011, 11:19 GMT

    Jaya has been a great servant of SL cricket, and i have no prob with him playing but to play just one game so he can bid farewell...pffft

  • Sudhakar on June 28, 2011, 11:03 GMT

    Wonderful player and an even greater entertainer.Very committed to cricket and his dedication was unquestionable. Sad to see him go, but his time has surely come to go. It must be said that the whole 'retirement' saga of Jaya tarnished his image a bit. He probably was dropped when he should have been picked. It was surprising to see Kapugedera and C.Silva playing ahead of Jaya. Even if Jaya was batting at no 6/7, he wud have much more useful than Kapu/Silva. But SL did well to reach the WC final. But his 'comeback' tarnished his image a bit. If he was chosen to play the entire series, it would have been a completely different scenario. But playing just the 1st match shows that there were some strings pulled to give him a farewell. But he definitely deserves a farewell, only the approach shud have been different. I am an Indian and i believe that as long as a player is fit and performing, he shud make it to the team. I dont mind if SRT plays test at 40 if he is good enough at that time.

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