Sanath Jayasuriya December 26, 2009

'Winning for Sri Lanka is what I enjoy the most'

Twenty years into an extraordinary international career, Sanath Jayasuriya looks back at his humble beginnings and the people who made his rise possible
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You made your international debut in the same ODI as Mark Taylor and Taylor retired 10 years ago. How have you kept going?
I retired from Test cricket recently to play ODIs a little bit longer. I have always enjoyed my cricket. I'm still enjoying it and I've worked hard on it. And I still want to perform. The sad thing is, I don't know whether the Sri Lankan cricket board is even aware that I'm completing 20 years today!

Where do you get your hunger to perform?
That has come naturally. I know how hard it was for me to come into the Sri Lankan side. I was just a normal person, coming from a poor background. We did not have anything. I know how hard that life was. So once I started to play for the country, I understood I had to work harder and play longer. I never had anything to play with when I started cricket in school. I never thought I would play for Sri Lanka. I had never heard about any cricketer who had come from a village like mine, Matara.

My mother was very strict when I was starting seriously with cricket because we couldn't afford anything. My father was the only breadwinner then - he worked as a health supervisor in the town's urban council. So it was a very tough life for me and my elder brother Chandana. But our school principal, GL Galappathi, was very supportive and he encouraged and pushed me to play cricket and even convinced my parents to allow me to chase my dreams.

I started at Under-11 and moved up the ladder. Luckily I was selected for the U-19 World Cup in Australia and that's when I was noticed.

Exactly how difficult was it?
I had to travel to Colombo and back, which took at least four hours by bus one way. I would get back only at midnight. But that is where I cultivated that hunger to play hard, to perform, to stay fit. I cannot relax even now. Since I was coming from outside the Colombo circle, the only way to break through into the Sri Lanka set-up was to be an outstanding performer.

When I was going to the U-19 World Cup, all the boys at the school collected funds and gave it to me as pocket money. I can never forget that gesture.

My mother, Breeda, was the main pillar of the household. She pushed all the men in the family and instilled in us the belief that if we worked hard, we could achieve anything. That helped me a lot.

When I came back from the U-19 World Cup, my school - and later U-11 - coach Lionel Wagasinghe helped me get a small job at the company he was working in. It was a company manufacturing corrugated cartons and I worked there for two years.

In the early part of your career which do you think was the innings that announced your arrival?
It came during the Sri Lanka B tour of Pakistan in 1989, where I started off with a century followed by consecutive double-hundreds in the second half of the series.

Who were the people that influenced your life and career?
One of the two people I can never forget was Mr Dafter, who was a neighbour in Matara. From 1989 to 1997 he allowed me to stay in a spare room in his house [in Colombo]. He and his wife were like my foster parents.

The other was his friend Lalit Wanagasinghe. Those guys always pushed me and believed I would one day play for Sri Lanka. Coming from a small town to a big city like Colombo, one could easily lose one's way, but these two took good care of me and always gave me good advice. They would come and watch me play, and discuss cricket at the house later in the night. For the last 20 years, both of them have always picked me up from the house and escorted me to the Sri Lankan cricket board office each time I've gone there before every tour.

I learned a lot from Roshan Mahanama. He was a very neat guy whose house was always in order. That helped me a lot when I started my international cricket. I guess it taught me a thing or two about discipline.

"By the time we finished the 1995-96 tour of Australia, we were a real strong unit. We supported each other, we wanted everybody to do well. And then we won the World Cup. After that we started getting more opportunities to play international cricket"

Then there were the Ranatunga brothers, Arjuna and Sanjeeva. They took good care of me by offering me a place to stay in their house before I moved in with Mr Dafter. The Ranatunga family always took good care of outstation players and many have been thankful for their generosity.

Do you remember the moment when you got your first call-up into the Sri Lankan team?
I was in the house with Mr Dafter. The selectors were picking the squad for the 1989-90 series in Australia. I knew they were meeting at eight in the morning, and I was restless. Finally, at one in the afternoon, Mr KM Nelson, then the secretary of the board, called to say I had been picked. I could not believe it. Since it was going to be a long tour, the general thought was two wicketkeepers would be picked, but they had decided to go with one specialist, with Hashan [Tillkaratne] as the makeshift keeper in case there was need, opening up a slot for me.

You were a lower-order batsman when you came into the team. But then you started opening in the mid-90s. How did that come about?
The decision was taken by the team management: our coach Dav Whatmore, Arjuna, Aravinda de Silva, and Duleep Mendis, the team's manager.

The idea was to play the first 15 overs as the last 15. Till then I was batting at No. 6 or 7, where I couldn't do much, especially as I went in to bat around the 40-45 overs mark. I felt I was being wasted. So Arjuna said that I should open as Roshan [Mahanama] was injured during the first three ODIs of the 1994 home series against Pakistan. It was a successful move. I got three fifties in a row in those three matches.

A year later I started opening with Kalu [Romesh Kaluwitharana] in Australia. He, too, had by then got promoted and both of us gelled instantly.

How big a role did Kaluwitharana play in your success as an opener?
He played a big role. When he got going, he made things easier for me at the other end. He could hit the ball very hard, played all the shots. He was really talented and made batting look easy. He was as confident as me. I remember he failed for 20 innings once, but Arjuna gave him the chance, knowing he was a match-winner.

That Australia series in 1995-96 proved to be a turning point for you.
Yes. I got runs as an opener and also started to open in Tests. I also scored my first Test hundred [in Adelaide]. I was really happy to get a century against such a good bowling attack, which included Shane Warne. It was scored under pressure against one of the best Test teams in the world. When you do that you get a nice feeling in your system.

That tour also changed Sri Lankan cricket, didn't it?
It was a turning point. There was that whole chucking controversy about Murali, which we fought through the tour; but at the same time we did well. By the time we had finished that tour we were a real strong unit - and this was on the eve of the 1996 World Cup. We supported each other, we wanted everybody to do well. And then we won the World Cup. After that we started getting more opportunities to play international cricket. I remember we played something like 11 Test matches that year [1997] and I scored more than 1000 runs. It was a unique moment in our cricketing history.

All that Arjuna said was: We'll have to do well, we'll have to work hard, whatever happens. He backed Murali wholeheartedly, to the brink. He even risked suspension at one point. When we saw that, it gave us confidence. And we never looked back.

Did you need to change your technique to play as an opener?
I don't have the best technique as an opener, but I have worked really hard for 11-12 years. In those years the regular openers, like Marvan [Atapattu], were technically correct. But I understood clearly that I was an attacking batsman, so my role was different even as an opener.

It must have been helpful to have the support of Arjuna and Whatmore?
Sri Lanka became a professional unit only after Whatmore came. Alex Kontouris, the physio, was another man who brought in a big and immediate change, because he put in place a system for training and physical fitness.

Dav would pay individual attention, talk to the player and give him confidence. Naturally we fell into the professional way of thinking steadily. He always encouraged us to play our own game. "If you see the first ball for four, just hit it. Don't worry about anything, we'll back you."

Arjuna would tell me not to worry even if I got out on the first ball, or be afraid of getting dropped. That is the most important thing for a captain to do, to encourage a player. If he doesn't give the player the confidence, he will be in two minds.

To cite an example: I am going through a lean patch right now. If Arjuna was the captain he would have given me confidence. He understood I am an attacking player and so there is always a chance of failing. If the player doesn't find support, he will find it difficult to perform. It is important for the management to give the player that confidence.

Give us an example of a time when you were failing and Arjuna backed you.
On the 1998 tour of England I was miserable and was consistently failing. But even before the only Test, at The Oval, Arjuna still had faith in me. I scored a double-hundred, which was a match-winning performance. He knew I could perform on the big occasion.

You are 40 now. What keeps you going?
I don't want to prove anything. The only thing that I want to prove is: if I can win a match for Sri Lanka, that is what I enjoy the most. Every time I play a match I want to give my 110%. I might get dropped tomorrow, I might not play the next tournament, but I will work hard, train hard, and I'll show them with the bat and ball. There is no point talking, no point criticising anyone.

Tomorrow, in part two of the interview, Jayasuriya talks about the 1996 World Cup, Murali, captains, coaches, rivals and more

Read part two of the interview here

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • seanpaul8820139 on December 27, 2009, 10:55 GMT

    Exactly chandau. That exactly what Ganguly did with sehwag. After a few matches ganguly gave a promise to sehwag doesnt matter what that he will be playing in the next 30 matches. You can clearly see sanath is scared, he knows he will be dropped if he fails onece, in a position like this he cant play his natural game.

  • chandau on December 27, 2009, 7:03 GMT

    cranaweera on (December 26 2009, 10:34 AM GMT) Chandau: The bottom line is this. 40+ is not the time to be building confidence. If you are in the team at that age, you should be brimming with confidence. If not, it is entirely justified to give the place to a youngster. Mate confidence is a 2 way street. no matter how confident one is if ur skipper does not feel the same way. Problem with Sanga is he lacks capacity to captain. Dont take my word for it, try speaking to some past captains (if u can), whom i dont want to name. Look at the number of guys under performing, Murali, Mendis, Malinga, Mahela, Sam, Sanath, Kapu!! Even Dilly is weighed down by expectation of a whole team. Point 1: to build confidence is say Sanath plays the next 10 no matter what. Then start writing. If Arjuna did not have such confidence in his 15 we would have never won a world cup. If u have watched or read about it, go look at the team that played from '95 onwards. There was hardly a change to playin 11!!

  • Sidhanta-Patnaik on December 27, 2009, 2:45 GMT

    Inspiring to read. Motivates anyone who comes from a small city, irrespective of which profession (s)he is into.

  • Big_Chikka on December 27, 2009, 1:33 GMT

    Yes Sanath, hope you keep on playing. Great to see you still going strong. Enjoyed many a knock from you and your friends in the Sri Lankan team. You have performed at the highest level, against some of the best bowlers in the modern game. Good luck.

  • Dinesh-0419 on December 27, 2009, 0:22 GMT

    Dearest Sanath Aiya No more to talk. Check here all the comments. All the fans with you. Go head strongly. You are the hero.

  • rajus on December 26, 2009, 22:22 GMT

    Jayasurya, we grew up watching you. As some one said you are the most humble cricketer ever produced. Next to Sachin you are my idol. The thing about you is never ever you show any pressure or any disliking on your face. That is amazing for some one who played 20 years of cricket. How can you be like that? Really amazing and also Srilankan cricket is different in a way that everyone focusses more on the game and every one of you have determination. I hope once you call quits to this game you will come up with a great coaching camp where our kids can learn a ton from you. Please share any details about your future plans--All the best.

  • Philip_Gnana on December 26, 2009, 22:21 GMT

    The one thing that always stands out for me about Sanath, is his humility. He has never forgotten his roots. The hallmark of a great human being is his humility. What wonderful experience of witnessing power hitting at the beginning of an innings. Sanath and Kalu changed the concept of one day cricket in turning it head over heels in batting the first 15 as the last fifteen. Who can forget the 1996 world cup. I can literally still see the Phi De Freitas being hammered for a six above the commentators box 4 floors high and about 25 yard away from the long on boundry... Gret contribution to international cricket and greater for the sri lankan cricket. Your batting will be remembered and talked about for years and years to come. Philip Gnana, New Malden Surrey

  • nomro on December 26, 2009, 21:09 GMT

    Sanath is a treat to watch. It's a pity that the SL board may not even be aware that this warhorse has been playing for 20 years. The sadness with which he states this in the interview can be easily gauged.

    He has had to face numerous critisms like an opener with less than impressive technique, someone who can only hit through the line only on flat subcontinent wickets, can't handle the bouncing ball on fast Australian wickets etc.

    Sanath may not be a Sachin but then you dont necessarily have to be a Sachin to be admired. The determination, the work ethics, the clean image, the attitude to put team interests first always and 20 years of non-stop service are more than enough reasons to command respect and admiration.

    I hope the SL Board realises the services of this silent workhorse of their cricket team.

    Sanath deserves a huge round of applaud and accolades.

  • cricdear on December 26, 2009, 20:16 GMT

    Congrats! Sanath you are great representative for criket man.I love your passion towards game. I really admire your transformation from lower order batsman to opening batsman.After sachin you are the only player to giving your still 100% effort for 20yrs that's really great. I hope you will continue till 2011 world cup and give us good memories. Finishing your carrer on a high note. Best of luck for ur carrer and ur family.

  • sopaka on December 26, 2009, 18:38 GMT

    Instead of praising Sanath for his achievements, some of us have got carried away and made this a battle between Sanath and Sanga. I admire Sanga's batting but have a very different opinion on his Captancy and conduct as a Captain, but hey! can we please do it on another thread without spoiling Sana's party?

  • seanpaul8820139 on December 27, 2009, 10:55 GMT

    Exactly chandau. That exactly what Ganguly did with sehwag. After a few matches ganguly gave a promise to sehwag doesnt matter what that he will be playing in the next 30 matches. You can clearly see sanath is scared, he knows he will be dropped if he fails onece, in a position like this he cant play his natural game.

  • chandau on December 27, 2009, 7:03 GMT

    cranaweera on (December 26 2009, 10:34 AM GMT) Chandau: The bottom line is this. 40+ is not the time to be building confidence. If you are in the team at that age, you should be brimming with confidence. If not, it is entirely justified to give the place to a youngster. Mate confidence is a 2 way street. no matter how confident one is if ur skipper does not feel the same way. Problem with Sanga is he lacks capacity to captain. Dont take my word for it, try speaking to some past captains (if u can), whom i dont want to name. Look at the number of guys under performing, Murali, Mendis, Malinga, Mahela, Sam, Sanath, Kapu!! Even Dilly is weighed down by expectation of a whole team. Point 1: to build confidence is say Sanath plays the next 10 no matter what. Then start writing. If Arjuna did not have such confidence in his 15 we would have never won a world cup. If u have watched or read about it, go look at the team that played from '95 onwards. There was hardly a change to playin 11!!

  • Sidhanta-Patnaik on December 27, 2009, 2:45 GMT

    Inspiring to read. Motivates anyone who comes from a small city, irrespective of which profession (s)he is into.

  • Big_Chikka on December 27, 2009, 1:33 GMT

    Yes Sanath, hope you keep on playing. Great to see you still going strong. Enjoyed many a knock from you and your friends in the Sri Lankan team. You have performed at the highest level, against some of the best bowlers in the modern game. Good luck.

  • Dinesh-0419 on December 27, 2009, 0:22 GMT

    Dearest Sanath Aiya No more to talk. Check here all the comments. All the fans with you. Go head strongly. You are the hero.

  • rajus on December 26, 2009, 22:22 GMT

    Jayasurya, we grew up watching you. As some one said you are the most humble cricketer ever produced. Next to Sachin you are my idol. The thing about you is never ever you show any pressure or any disliking on your face. That is amazing for some one who played 20 years of cricket. How can you be like that? Really amazing and also Srilankan cricket is different in a way that everyone focusses more on the game and every one of you have determination. I hope once you call quits to this game you will come up with a great coaching camp where our kids can learn a ton from you. Please share any details about your future plans--All the best.

  • Philip_Gnana on December 26, 2009, 22:21 GMT

    The one thing that always stands out for me about Sanath, is his humility. He has never forgotten his roots. The hallmark of a great human being is his humility. What wonderful experience of witnessing power hitting at the beginning of an innings. Sanath and Kalu changed the concept of one day cricket in turning it head over heels in batting the first 15 as the last fifteen. Who can forget the 1996 world cup. I can literally still see the Phi De Freitas being hammered for a six above the commentators box 4 floors high and about 25 yard away from the long on boundry... Gret contribution to international cricket and greater for the sri lankan cricket. Your batting will be remembered and talked about for years and years to come. Philip Gnana, New Malden Surrey

  • nomro on December 26, 2009, 21:09 GMT

    Sanath is a treat to watch. It's a pity that the SL board may not even be aware that this warhorse has been playing for 20 years. The sadness with which he states this in the interview can be easily gauged.

    He has had to face numerous critisms like an opener with less than impressive technique, someone who can only hit through the line only on flat subcontinent wickets, can't handle the bouncing ball on fast Australian wickets etc.

    Sanath may not be a Sachin but then you dont necessarily have to be a Sachin to be admired. The determination, the work ethics, the clean image, the attitude to put team interests first always and 20 years of non-stop service are more than enough reasons to command respect and admiration.

    I hope the SL Board realises the services of this silent workhorse of their cricket team.

    Sanath deserves a huge round of applaud and accolades.

  • cricdear on December 26, 2009, 20:16 GMT

    Congrats! Sanath you are great representative for criket man.I love your passion towards game. I really admire your transformation from lower order batsman to opening batsman.After sachin you are the only player to giving your still 100% effort for 20yrs that's really great. I hope you will continue till 2011 world cup and give us good memories. Finishing your carrer on a high note. Best of luck for ur carrer and ur family.

  • sopaka on December 26, 2009, 18:38 GMT

    Instead of praising Sanath for his achievements, some of us have got carried away and made this a battle between Sanath and Sanga. I admire Sanga's batting but have a very different opinion on his Captancy and conduct as a Captain, but hey! can we please do it on another thread without spoiling Sana's party?

  • PKumar21 on December 26, 2009, 18:33 GMT

    Sanath Jayasuriya... a name that has become synonimous with great hitting, great bowling, agility and commitment to the game. I remember seeing Sanath within a few feet when i was a visitor at Taaj Samudra in Colombo.

    He has contributed to Srilankan cricket in particular, and to the game in general in a very significant way, through his gamesmanship and spirit with which he has played. It is difficult to believe that a man at his 40th age, is still playing the way he is going now.

    Hearty congratulations on your completing 20-years of intnl.cricket, and there are not many around to share similar glory. Wish you great time ahead, and thanks a lot for all the wonderful entertainment that you have provided to all of us. I can still relish the 'hard-hitting' shots that sent the ball sailing into stands... WOW!! you are really a great cricketer.. Wish you good health and happy retirement in due course!!

  • XooX on December 26, 2009, 18:12 GMT

    Congratulations Sanath..You've been an amazing cricketer, and someone along with Murali who has been the face of Sri Lankan Cricket for more than a decade and a half..Regarding the selection issue, well, the biggest problem is not that Jayasuriya is 40 now..but that he wll be 42 in 2011 - and that's an age when you are not sure if he will still be fit and will still be hungry for runs...

    In the present team, Jayasuriya cannot be dropped ahead of Mahela, but just that the selection committee is keeping its priorities right for the world cup.

    That apart, I think Sri Lankan board has messed up the player roles in the team. Dilshan should be complimenting Jayasuriya's attack tactics and not replace him..Two attackers on top - that could be chilling for the opposition..

    Anyway, congrats Jayasuriya..I have always seen you as the SL version of our Tendlya - much the same attributes..Wishing you a bright future..

  • msuriyak on December 26, 2009, 17:51 GMT

    Sanath is a one of the great cricketers Lanka has produced.I wish him all and feel sad when he is not in the Sri Lankan xi Suriyakumaran,chennai

  • Champ2000 on December 26, 2009, 17:04 GMT

    Humble and nice as usual. He is one of the greatest. Its a shame that he is not getting as much publicity on 2oth aniversory as Sachin did.

    ON Another thought, he should never wait for the selctors to remove him. It would far better memory to see him fare good bye in good style.

  • harsha_udayanga on December 26, 2009, 16:58 GMT

    sanath aiya u r the face of srilanka cricket.Most of us watch matches to see u bat.Congrats i ur amazing achievementI agree with SLkrishan but still we musnt forget a hero who has served srilanka well.I salute u our hero......

  • Anu-srilanka on December 26, 2009, 16:44 GMT

    Congratulations Sanath ayya..you r a legend.You are the man who changed the game.We wish u to be back into form soon .Obata Budu Saranai !

  • A_HTIMAN on December 26, 2009, 16:21 GMT

    Sanath should be given a chance to prove his worthyness before being dropped out of the team. He might be unsucessful as a batsman but Sri Lanka needs a leg spinner and no suitable replacement is nearby. As Mendis, Randeev doesn't show any worthness Sana should be kept as the spinner and no.8 batsman. He was appointed to this slot but always had to bat at 3 or 4. Also Sanga should be removed from captaincy. He makes the biggest mistakes a Sri Lankan captain has ever done and his keeping ability is also diminished due to it.

  • Nata on December 26, 2009, 16:08 GMT

    Awesome Sanath. I am Indian fan, but along with our FAB five from India, you have given my generation a lot to cherish. Doesn't mater if Srilankan cricket board remembers 20 years or so, the fans across the world would always thank you for the superb moments you gave us all these 20 years.

  • ruwanlrd on December 26, 2009, 15:59 GMT

    Does sangakkara has different rules for sanath and his friend Mahela???????????

  • passionsatish on December 26, 2009, 15:57 GMT

    congratulations sanath on completing 20 years in international cricket..i have been your great fan since 1996 world cup..i enjoyed your batting a lot..and hope you enjoyed it too..i wanna see you in 2011 world cup..in the same style you were in 1996 world cup..i think you and sachin are the two players who dominate the whole cricket world for 2 decades..

  • ruwanlrd on December 26, 2009, 15:51 GMT

    dear sanath please do not stop....your motherland needs some more from you... practice hard.... show sangakkara and asantha de mel that you still are the best in Srilanka(it seems they have different opinion)...... we , all, your fans of the whole country need you atleast till next world cup.... keep it up...... the real son of mother Srilanka.....

  • trinioddball on December 26, 2009, 15:00 GMT

    Just want to say that Sanath is in a class all by himself. Thanks Jaya for 20 years of entertaining cricket.Jaya means victory. Sanath has singlehandedly won many a victories for Sri Lanka,I admire his humility.I would love to see him hit another century before he calls it a day. Hats off to you Sanath.

  • auggie on December 26, 2009, 14:55 GMT

    Read today in 'Cricket next' that Sangkarra had made a comment ón Jayasuriya's 20th year. Reported to have said, 'Its important that the team move on without him now'. Indian skipper and selectors would NEVER have said that about Tendulkar who is just 3 years younger than Sanath.They never leave him out. Thats why they are better than SL because they understand & realize the value of a contributing legend/Icon. Even Chapell suggested that Tendulkar retire some time back when he was in the midst of a lean spell. Tendulkar roared back and let his bat talk.In the mental game playing alongside super Icons like Tendulkar/Jayasuriya strenghten the rest of teams moral and inner strength. However support must come from the captain too as Jayasuriya himself be-moans. By the way an appeal: Please leave Sangakarra's English accent out of this forum. He speaks, very correct, flowing, fluent English with his own accent that is pleasing and refreshing.

  • Prakash.R on December 26, 2009, 14:51 GMT

    Congrats to Sanath in completing an astonishing 20 years in international cricket and giving us those wonderful memories. The modesty and commitment with which Sanath played on and off of cricket field makes him a great role model to the current generation of cricketers. From the humble beginnings to the culmination, Sanath has a feather in his cap that even Sachin doesn't have, ie, winning the world cup for his country. [I am sure Sachin will win his title in 2011, we can still see the hunger in his eyes that we saw when he was 17 yr old]. Incidentally, Sanath also has the same hunger and passion for the game even after playing for 20 years.

    This article also gives few much needed pointers to the current SL captain, Sangakarra, whom I always admired as a cricketer, but from the recent tone of his post-game speeches, he sounds hardly like a sportsman from Sri Lanka or the Sub-continent. The modesty-factor is gone and he doesn't look like he is learning anything from the captaincy.

  • rnkasthuri on December 26, 2009, 14:50 GMT

    One of the finest batsman sub continent had ever produced. Congratulations Jaya.

  • sanjeevmukherjee2006 on December 26, 2009, 14:49 GMT

    Sanath, was and is one of the most destructive batters in the game, reading at the first para it is quite annoying when he wrote I dont know if SL board knows i have completed 20 years, he revolutionized the game and it is quite sad really that he is not picked for one game then if picked he comes lower down the order, he is most dangerous when he opens the batting!!only after sanath's heroics we saw more ppl getting aggressive in the first 15 years for eg. sachin, sehwag,gilchrist,haydos,dilshan, etc.. is any one listening from SL board!!!!

  • pkraj on December 26, 2009, 14:47 GMT

    I always enjoyed your batting Sanath. You are the one who changed the face of cricket. You are and always will be my idol

  • Jarr30 on December 26, 2009, 14:37 GMT

    Being an Indian FAN, I want to Congratulate you on your 20 yrs of International cricket with SL. In my books you will always be one THEEEE Greatest One day batsmen along with V.Richards,Tendulkar, Lara, GillY & Sehwag. It is always great to watch you bat. I hope Sri Lanka Board gives you a grand party for 20 yes in cricket.YOU DESERVE IT.

  • ankit3009 on December 26, 2009, 14:22 GMT

    even in the current squad sanath is the best player who can inspire the young players,you cannot judje a legend like sanath even if he fails to perform in one or two series,look at jayawardhane who is also going through poor form still sanga shows confidence in him.

  • amit1807kuwait on December 26, 2009, 14:15 GMT

    People from SL are generally humble, irrespective of whether they have achieved great heights in life or not. Sanath is another one of those likeable people. World cricket has been enriched by SL and their cricketers. Well done Sanath on completing 20 years in international cricket. Keep going mate, we enjoy watching you (except when you bash us Indians!).

  • Thunee_man_Naidoo on December 26, 2009, 14:04 GMT

    Dear Sanath, Hope you have enjoyed playing cricket as much as all of your fans around the world have enjoyed watching you play. You are a modern day legend and I hope that you continue to receive success not only on the cricket pitchbut also your day-to-day life.

    From one of your millions of fans: Lukesh Naidoo

  • senthilkhumar on December 26, 2009, 13:53 GMT

    Sanath, thanks for your contribution. I've always been a fan of you since the 1996 world cuo match against India. All the very best with your career.

  • lionscricket on December 26, 2009, 13:51 GMT

    I have always enjoyed these comments after an article. is it in accordance with my point of view or not i have always enjoyed reading about different views of ppl about the game. today i was shocked by one narrow minded person's ( Mr Marikks ) comments which has nothing to do with the game. he goes to speak about kumar sangakkara s accent ( the way he call it "action" i hope he is talking about the same thing ). let me tell u sir that English is not our native language, and he speaks it correctly and professionally. when he speaks his points they are clear, direct and nicely praised with a good flaw. as sri lankans we should be proud of him. hands down he is the most advanced cricketing brain sri lanka has ever produced and the world excepts it but MR marikks brain capacity identifies it as a show off. pretty sad!

  • Rambo-123 on December 26, 2009, 13:39 GMT

    Sanath you are great cricketer and you have done so much for the team. I agree with auggi if Sanga wants to drop Sanath before that he should drop his buddy Mahela and Sanga should give Sanath to bowl more so that he can show his talent with bowling too. And please encourage his as Arjuna did. Sanga could be a good player but not a good Captain. Why didn't he try to stop the singles in the 4th ODI keeping 4 men in the ring and helping India to score single effortless. And why didn't he allow Sanath to bowl in the 2nd 20/20 I think he doesn't like Sanath wining matches. Sanga its time for you to think...........

  • Bang_La on December 26, 2009, 13:32 GMT

    Sanath,

    Our heartiest congratulations from Bangladesh, on completing your 20th dazzling years in cricket. And ALSO as in an example of how one should be determined and focused to reach the peak! You may not know, but in our SAARC region, you are one hell of an example to cite how determination and SINCERE hard work can suppress one's poverty-stricken background. Cricket will miss you, Sanath, when you put those bat and gloves away!

  • muizuzair on December 26, 2009, 13:23 GMT

    First let me congratulate Sanath for making SL cricket so great during his past 20 years. The legend will still surprise many in the forthcoming world cup. A true legend of Srilanka who's name in cricket is written in the finest of willows. Sanga is a fine cricketer too but as a captain he is still inexperienced. This has put Sanath on the back foot but I hope Sanga will be able to pick the correct combination soon. That will surely include Sanath.

  • Ninjaa on December 26, 2009, 13:16 GMT

    My warmest regards are with you Sanath. You have been a great ambassador for the game of cricket, and I hope you bring more glory to your country. Unfortunately most of the Sri Lankan Players inspite of being of the finest quality haven't got the credit they should have. Had it been some indian, english or an Australian cricketer who scored as many runs has Sanath has, or as many wickets he has claimed. the whole world would have gone gaga over him. For me Sanath is in the same league as Sachin. May be it was destined to be like this, two of the most destructive, yet the most modest batsmen of this century have completed they 20 years in International cricket together, and what more, they share the same dressing room in IPL. :)

  • SLkrishan on December 26, 2009, 13:03 GMT

    First of all THANK YOU Sanath for your great service to SL cricket..I dont agree a lot with Sanga's captaincy decisions, but I think what we are seeing today is the future of ODI cricket; where players will be decided on the pitch and playing conditions. (more so that before) Like having 8 stable players and 3 players who'll be picked for a particular scenario..Coming back to Sana, I totally agree that if he doesnt perform he should'nt be in the team, BUT give him a farewell match & a grand send-off. He has earned it..

  • kentjones on December 26, 2009, 12:49 GMT

    Sanath, thank you for your wonderful pefromances over the years. As a West Indian I have always admired yourexceptional abilities as a batter. Yo have brought great joy to many spectators all over the world. Your twetny years in cricket should be celebrated in much te same way as Tendulkar's, cause you have been really outstanding fro Sri Lanka. All the best in the future, I hope to continue enjoying your batting for some more years.

  • Zemp on December 26, 2009, 12:38 GMT

    Congrats on your 20 yrs of cricket with SL. You are arguably the best cricketer SL has ever produced. Murali can't be any better than you.

    " I am going through a lean patch right now. If Arjuna was the captain he would have given me confidence", As you have turned 40 the above comment should not have come out from your mouth to defend your position in the team any further. You were a great to SL Cricket and may called former great SJ sooner than later. Sanga will not be happy at all reading your comment above.... I still beleive you are a SL great but mind you once a player like you were asked to bat down the order to me it sounds like they are sending you a message to retire your own or face the big axe hanging around your throat.

    Anyway, your attitude spokes out you are a sincere cricketer....well done.

    Still Mumbai Indians need you mind it.

  • coppyshoppy on December 26, 2009, 12:27 GMT

    Sanath you are one of the cricketer who changed the face of oneday cricket. Its shame for Srilankan cricket that they had forgotten the man who put srilankan map on world cricket. You made world best bowlers as club bowlers.

  • auggie on December 26, 2009, 11:31 GMT

    If Sanga said that performing and form is a factor for selection then his friend, Mahaela should have been dropped long ago in the ODI's. Even in the 20/20 Mahela is often a question mark, performing sporadically. Cricket memory is also fickle and fades quickly. It was not so long ago that the 20/20 WC was played. Remember Sanaths'a and Dislhans contributions as openers? Sanath was not yet forty then but well on nigh! At nearly 40 Sanath was also a feared player in the Indian IPL and still contributes well. In this Indian tour he was demoted from his opening slot, batted in an unfamiliar place and failed but yet came back with a fantastic bowling spell. Its history now, but in the next match Sanga did not give him a bowl at all. One hasnt got to have a 120 IQ to realise that something is amiss here between the Captain Sangakarra and Jayasuriya. Anyone can figure it out. Its not rocket science.And oh! Sanga & Mahela are nearly 33.

  • Marikks on December 26, 2009, 11:19 GMT

    Dear Sanath, Well every one in cricket has up and downs, I know you are going through a bad patch, remember you are a legend and what you have done to Sri Lanka cricket could only matched by Murali, Even if you don't perform your name in the team 11 sends many thoughts to any opposition you can win a match on your own, and how many players in todays SL 11 can say that. Yes I am closely watching the tactics of your captain Kumar Sangakkara, during the current series in India he did one or two blunders in selection the final 11. You are a all rounder you should have been picked in all 1 day matches, Why is Mahella is given the place did he perform or can he bowl is it because Mahela is Sanga's budy? Sanga should not be allowed to do thing in his ways at all times on the other hand he should talk sense when he is answering the reporters he mush avoid trying to imitate an artificial action to his English by doing that he is making a mockery of English. Chairman have been informed on this

  • Rahul_78 on December 26, 2009, 11:18 GMT

    Sanath along with sachin is one of the few player in contemporary cricket who has impecable record on field as well as off it. This is the first time the hurt is evident in his comments. I dont understand the logic behind droping sanath to the middle order on indian fetherbeds when he is a proven match winner on subcontinent wickets and against india has best record to win matches. People certainly have short memories, not too long ago in pakistan he won asia cup single handedly with bat when lanka kept loosing wickets at other end. Sanga is a moron..if anybody would like to argue that tharanga is better opener than santh irrespective of how many runs he is scoring i wont agree. Despite scoring heaviliy in the series how many matches has tharanga won for lanka. The series is reading 3-1. Sanath was the one who put the leash on scoring in the only T20 which lanka manged to win when gambhir was flaying everyone. Wake up sanga..

  • Duke_84 on December 26, 2009, 11:14 GMT

    Sanath you are still the best. You (and Muraly) are the heart and soul of Sri Lanka cricket. Congratulations on 20 years.Words cannot express what you mean to us Sri Lanka cricket fans.

  • Mcroos on December 26, 2009, 11:13 GMT

    great cricketer and still wants to do the best wow what a great team player never think about own records always team first guy all the best sanath.

  • slayer_of_the_yore on December 26, 2009, 11:09 GMT

    well sangakarra is in the pink of form as a player but not as a captain india wouldnt drop tendulkar no matter what his form is he is sort of a second captain thats the experience he brings to the side now jayasuriya is the sri lankan tendulkar ....... notice that in the first two matches he was there and the lankans found a courage to propel them that i strongly feel is the work of jayasuriya ...well to me he is the most important player in the lankan side after murali

  • KingOwl on December 26, 2009, 10:34 GMT

    Chandau: The bottom line is this. 40+ is not the time to be building confidence. If you are in the team at that age, you should be brimming with confidence. If not, it is entirely justified to give the place to a youngster.

  • KingOwl on December 26, 2009, 10:28 GMT

    Chandau: I am not defending Sanga's mistakes - I agree he should have let Sanath bowl in the ODI (I said it during the match and I say it now). Also, I think he should have put India in to bat in the fourth ODI - can't believe that he wanted to defend a total agaisnt India in those conditions, with such a novice bowling attack. I also think that Mahela should be on a tight leash especially in ODIs. Sanga's wicket keeping also has not been up to the mark - perhaps he cannot handle them all. But, that does not make me question Snaga's strategy of getting in young players to the team. It makes perfect sense. Sanath was a great player who revolutionised the ODI game plan. But, there is no question that he has slowed. He no longer hits over point. He tries but the ball ends at third man. His recent batting average has been very mediocre. It is time to quit.

  • Tambapani on December 26, 2009, 10:20 GMT

    Hard to see Sanath opening the Sri Lanka innings in the future unless there is an injury to the present incumbent players but he still can continue as a valuable utility player.His statement " I am going through a lean patch right now. If Arjuna was the captain he would have given me confidence", unfortunately, undermines Sanga and the selectors, and this is not fair. Sanath in the past couple of years has been inconsistent and this had an adverse effect on the team. With the advent of Dilshan as an opener and re-emergence of Tharanga the situation has stabilised. So Sanath will have to bat either one down or late in the middle-order if he is to stay in the team.

  • bonaku on December 26, 2009, 10:13 GMT

    It is a real treat to whole cricket community to have jaya... he is real entertainer....

  • SLLions on December 26, 2009, 10:04 GMT

    sanath aiya dont worry you are the man in sril lanka. we still watch cricket to see u bating nothing any other reson. if u r not in the 11 we wath tv like a parippu nathi danslak wage. wish u all the best and we congratulate u r 20 yr international carrier. well done sana . ohoma yan

  • Shimbo on December 26, 2009, 9:49 GMT

    Hi Sana, you don't do the selection. It is the selectors. Let them to select the best team for the match and I am sure your name will be there as most of the current players are not good enough to challenge your place. In the current form only Anjelo Mathews can be compared to you but he is injured. When he is back still they will accomodate you just on your current performance. Don't put lots of pressure on your self. Just play your normal game whilst you maintain your fittness. You don't need selectors support or the captain. You are a must in the Sri Lankan team. One day you will retire. Decision may be your's or someone else. I will be following cricket till then. After that there may be nothing to watch unless they take dramatic actions to refine the Sri Lankan cricket. For someplayers, their place is granted whether they perform or not. You know what was going on for last 20 years.

  • Dinesh-0419 on December 26, 2009, 9:30 GMT

    Come-on Sanath aiya. We always support you. Because of you think country first before you. You can do it. We cannot sit to watch a match if you are not playing there. You are the hero of all of Srilankan. We can see now how going our cricket team. Sandakkara doing lot of mistakes. I cannot understand why not giving captaincy to Murally. He's most experience player in our side than Sanath. Unfortunately he also has decided to retire. This is all politics issues. Very sad of this. Sport should be without politics. We can see now you are playing without any confidants in the team. Even when Mahela was captain there was always talk together work together. But now Sangakkara like a empire. Doing what he wants. That's why he loosing matchers. (Poor captaincy) By the way, wish you an all the best. You are the HERO. You can go far.. I pray to god please keep Sanath 10 more years in cricket to show to my child how you playing cricket. Dinesh

  • Shimbo on December 26, 2009, 9:17 GMT

    Thanks Chandau. I quite agree with what you said about Sanga and Mahela. Sanath didn't fail in India but had to take the responsibilty for the failures of the other senior palyers like Mahela. I would drop Mahela before Sanath as Sanath is a all rounder. Sanath should be in the team as a spinner. If he score some runs it is a bonus. Not that Sanath has failed with the bat as the others but he couldn't meet the expectations. Sanath got his place in the team with very little help from any one else but his own performance. Keep him in place of Ajantha Mendis since he is not selected if you like. He still can sweep the out field like an 20 year old.Forget about the age of Sanath and select him for the rest of the Matches in India at least as there are no better players within the SL camp at the moment to replace him. He should be treated as a true all rounder but not just as a batsman. We all know who are there as just batters and don't perform. God helps SL cricket when Sanath gone.

  • AHappyMind on December 26, 2009, 9:05 GMT

    The most influential player since Dr W G Grace deserves more salutation and acknowledgment. This man is responsible for attacking cricket and therefore the T20 format which has entertained millions and will be responsible for making cricket even more popular. We do not realize how important Sanath Jayasuriya has been to cricket. The entertainment value of cricket, as a sport, has increase two folds thanks to Jayasuriya. In my list of the most important cricketers, he comes third after WG and Bradman

  • fanofteamindia on December 26, 2009, 8:55 GMT

    Sanath has been a terrific entertainer throghout his career and it is really sad to see him treated this way by Sangakkara.Jayasuriya is an opener and he was asked to bat in the mddle order.He failed once and he was dropped.No surprise that SriLanka lost so badly to India especially when you give chances to guys like Kapugedara and bench Sanath.If SriLanka don want Sanath anymore they should tell him clearly and ask him to go out by himself.

  • shashika68c on December 26, 2009, 8:51 GMT

    i am sri lankan, one thing i believe , most sri lankan still waiting SANA in final 11 of ODI side, if sana not in the side, it like "curry with out salt " . i remember people off the tv when he out .... thanks sana ,,,,,,,,, you a the man, become me a cricket fan! like most sri lankan

  • KushagraDeadman on December 26, 2009, 8:50 GMT

    Its sad to see that the person who changed the approach of the game,who taught us how the first 15 overs can change the game,is sitting out on benches.i still feel that Sanath should play for Sri Lanka rather than warming the benches.and if he is playing,he deserves the opening slot.i think Sangakkara should support him atleast till the 2011 World Cup.he and Dilshan can be the Jaya-Kalu combination of the 1996 winning squad.still believe he has got lots to offer in the Sri Lankan team.the way he runs,fields n bats,shows that he is still fit n ready for more challenges.and i,a supporter of team India,d team that has been at Sanath's receiving ends many times, thinks.Though i feel time is running out for the south paw,i believe and would pray that he scores some quick runs n a blasing century ,even if its india he is playing with :)

  • Nipun on December 26, 2009, 8:42 GMT

    Blessed are us who are born in the age of players like Sachin Tendulkar,Sanath Jayasuriya,Steve Waugh,Ricky Ponting,Rahul Dravid,Jacques Kallis,Brian Lara..............so many to name !!! @cranaweera:-Yes,Sanath LOOKS to be past his best,but the fact that he is still Sri Lanka's biggest match-winner today(with Muralidaran) tells volumes about his calibre & about the others' merits.

  • seanpaul8820139 on December 26, 2009, 8:37 GMT

    chandau you wrote what i had in my mind hahaha. Age is just a number what matters most is how fit the guy is. This is what sangakkara said recently "if u want to be in the side you have to perform" thats a very attractive statement but the point is that should apply to everyone. How well has mahela done in recent times, sanath can bowl as well. What Sanath was trying to say in this interview is he should not be treated like other players because he is a genuine match winner, he might fail in 3 or 4 innings but that match winning knock is always around the corner, 80% of the time sri lanka win when sanath scores more than 50, i was shocked to see that, thats the kind of impact the guy has. Tharanga and Mahela are not match winners. Tharanga did score a century but sri lanka lost. Yes sanath doesnt play the amount of match winning innings that he used to play but still i believe he is good enough to be in the one day side.

  • kamsabbasi on December 26, 2009, 8:34 GMT

    sanath we want to see you in action till the next world cup we really love you iam your big fan and my best wishes with you

    any one have sanath's email??????

  • catalyst213 on December 26, 2009, 8:26 GMT

    Sanath jayasuriya has been the entertainer for 2o years. I think has given the game of cricket alot more than the game has given him. Now is the chance for Sanga and selectors to give him his spot as an opener, we all know he's still hungry and he's still a matchwinner for Sri Lanka. We as fans no matter from which country should support Sanath. Hopefully he makes a decision soon and leave on a high with all the respect and dignity he truly deserves.

  • Mr.Mathes on December 26, 2009, 8:15 GMT

    sanath is a remarkable cricketer, he took srilankan cricket to a new level, a new era, he changed the world cricket(fact). but now that the cricket has changed and sana is 40+ and has been inconsistent for a long period of time, i guess it doesn't give sanga much choice but to leave him out of the side. i mean i'd love to see him play an awesome knock and win it for sl, but i think it's quite far from happening now that upul and dilshan is in top form chances of sana opening is very less.so i guess it's time for him to retire on his own before some unknown fool from the sl selection commitee throws him away. Love u man, but it's time!! and i don't why Mahela deserves to stay in the ODI team even if he's been very very inconsistent lately, may be they should leave him out of the team for change.

  • seanpaul8820139 on December 26, 2009, 8:12 GMT

    You never know, many times people thought thats the end of him but he came back strongly. Personally i do not think in the last 20 years any single cricketer has had the kind of impact that he has had. Shane Warne was a genius, he inspired a lot of people to take up leg spin but 98% of them failed at international level cos leg spin is a difficult art. Gilchrist and Sehwag are great players, i would say Gilchrist was a better batsman than Sanath, but the point is Sanath simply changed the way this game was played, even Glenn Mcgrath mentioned it in his biography. HE IS NOT THE GREATEST BUT HE IS A PIONEER. SANATH STARTED A TREND. If Sanath is playing he should be played as an opener otherwise he should not be played. Putting Sanath down the order is like putting Sehwag or Dilshan down the order, its not there game.

  • Night.angel on December 26, 2009, 8:12 GMT

    such a great playerr... wen ipl has started, mumbai indian management asked sachin which player to chose, sachin wants sanath as partner , i do feel its not only becoz of sanath's batting heroics , but his humbleness .. down to earth life , sachin knws how commited sanath to the team, a perfect team man. Back in 90's i just want to know whether sanath has got out while playing india .. if he is still out there , no way india wont win match . as a indian i always dreamed 'if sanath is an indian" . but now at the age of 40 i think time has come he have to quit.. rather than being dropped and humilated.. further more he should take this decision. well i hope we still can see him in T20s .

  • 123_4 on December 26, 2009, 8:04 GMT

    GAJAMAN, You are sorely mistaken as it is him who played such a role to Sri Lamka getting to where they're now and he seems to keep the team and your country's morale up so Sanath please don't even contemplate leaving for a while!

  • Rohan1 on December 26, 2009, 8:01 GMT

    I feel you guys are being a bit too harsh on Jayasuriya. He will go down as one of the greats of the game..and as such he should be accorded some of the courtesy and priveledge of a great. i.e he should be allowed the decision of quitting to be on his terms. Otherwise what is the difference between a great and just another player?

  • 123_4 on December 26, 2009, 8:00 GMT

    Sanath rocks, he's is so experienced and celebrated and yet can remember all the small details of his life. Someone like him is rare. (This is Asa. Powell)

  • ruwanlrd on December 26, 2009, 7:58 GMT

    It's petty that what is happening to sanath. truely he is a genius. he has done so much to srilankan cricket and i'm so sure that he has the potential to do more. its true that his chronological age is 40. but i think he is physically more fit than some "young" cricketers of the team. there are more players who fail constantly than sanath. I think srilankan management is too concerned about age..... it was on media the captain saying sanath was dropped for a more stable team. the stability was later reflected by the loss of next matches.. i'm sure if sanath were there atleast about 30-40 runs would have added to the score and few more wickets added on too. if you need a more stable team,well, there are players to be dropped( in the team). . still i believe sanath is the only player who can win matches in this team..I'm afraid that same thing what was done to Vas will be done to Sanath too..so..Dear Sanath, do not get discouraged. please answer them with bat and ball.

  • sandeep.sandy on December 26, 2009, 7:56 GMT

    Sanath is my favourite cricketer.He is a veteran.With sanath's amazing record of 13000+ runs and 320+ wickets he is the best allrounder.Sanath is a naturally gifted player and a true legend.He revolutionized the top order batting as a opener in his own style.Sanath still is going strong and he still can play a great part in the srilankan team.Keep going sanath.

  • minticools on December 26, 2009, 7:47 GMT

    Jayasuriya is arguably the best opener the world has ever seen. An attacker, a destroyer & a devil for the fast bowlers the world over. He has acheived the milestone of scoring the fastest 50 in odi & the (then) fastest century .... even the best in the game have not acheived this rare feat. The fans of his are disappointed, but he shouldnt be coz Dilshan, Tharanga & Sanga are in such top form, that really cant blame the selectors for his exclusion. But bhoyy ohh boy .... what scenes they were when he used to just tore apart the Indian bowling attack in the late 90's .... absolute fun!!! .... Wish ya All The Best for the future Sanath .... God Bless!

  • Gajaman on December 26, 2009, 7:28 GMT

    Dear Sanath, what about the guys worked hard & can not get in to the side because of your greedy decision. Let them play as well your time is gone. Please do not be a political selection. You are failed & not getting any younger. How many ducks you made in premier league tournament in 2009. You are not worth to play for Sri Lanka. Thanks for 20 years of entertainment but you gotta go brother with respect.

  • Charindra on December 26, 2009, 7:20 GMT

    exactly my thoughts cranaweera. It's hard for Sanga to support him at 40. I really hope he can go out on a high, but something tells me it wont happen because if he wins one more match for us with the bat, that'll convince him that he's fit enought to play till he's 42. Such a pity for such an influential and remarkable player.

  • VENKATASAIPRAVEEN on December 26, 2009, 6:55 GMT

    Sanath has been an outstanding performer for the Srilankan team over the last two decades.He made significant contributions to the Srilankan cricket.Noone can deny that.However ,he has to realise that age is catching up with him.he now faces stiff competetion from youngsters like Tharanga.Sanath now has to prove that he still has some years of cricket left in him 7 retire in style.getting removed from the team would be the last thing Sanath would want & that would be a bad insult to this great cricketer.

  • chandau on December 26, 2009, 6:55 GMT

    cranaweera - I think for a captain, it is a bit tough to tell a 40+ year old that he can go on failing and that the management will still support him. MAN Sanga doesn't have to say anything his actions speak far better. Sanath bowls best in one match, then does not get a single over in next one. He's supposed to bat at 6, but comes in at 3 & 4. Not the way to build confidence in anyone 20yr or 40 yr old. BTW wonder what he says to best pal Mahela who keeps throwing it away 4 matches in a row. People who know and have played cricket know value of Sanath to team balance: Can bat anywhere 1-8, can bowl leg spin, can field, like Dilshan. When hes not in the team the bowling is always short and predictable. Even in match 4 it was Sanath who bowled well in the middle overs but it was poor captaincy of Sanga that let off the hook, not to mention his failings behind the sticks. It seems there's no clear thoughts what Sanath's role is anymore among selectors, captain, coaches! Pity for SL team.

  • idontknowidontcare on December 26, 2009, 6:55 GMT

    I remember some years back Cricinfo published a List titled "Knowing when to call it a day". If they revise it, I am sure Sanath will find a place there.

  • grandclipper on December 26, 2009, 6:43 GMT

    A true genious who changed the way the game is played at the top esp in the shorter versions. Its a pity that the SL Cricket Board hasn't done anything to felicitate such a talented performer and a true servant to SL cricket in particular and world cricket in general. In India too, we have gone overboard for Sachin's 20 years celebrations (well deserved celabrations indeed) but I think that something similiar should have been done for Sanath as well. I felt bad when PCA at Mohali awarded a memorabilia to Sachin and not to Sanath. He is a humble person of very few words and has always performed consistently & honestly. Cricket lovers world over should salute such a modern great. He should however retire now and save some grace while he is still at it. Cheers

  • KingOwl on December 26, 2009, 6:08 GMT

    Interesting interview. Sanath implies that he is not getting support from the captain. I think for a captain, it is a bit tough to tell a 40+ year old that he can go on failing and that the management will still support him. I have always been a great fan of Sanath, but he needs to understand that he is past his best now. He really needs to perform to be in the team. Sanga, nor any other captain, has any more rope to spare on Sanath. I hope he will play one big inning, a smashing, match winning century, and then retire in style. But I am afraid that may not happen.

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  • KingOwl on December 26, 2009, 6:08 GMT

    Interesting interview. Sanath implies that he is not getting support from the captain. I think for a captain, it is a bit tough to tell a 40+ year old that he can go on failing and that the management will still support him. I have always been a great fan of Sanath, but he needs to understand that he is past his best now. He really needs to perform to be in the team. Sanga, nor any other captain, has any more rope to spare on Sanath. I hope he will play one big inning, a smashing, match winning century, and then retire in style. But I am afraid that may not happen.

  • grandclipper on December 26, 2009, 6:43 GMT

    A true genious who changed the way the game is played at the top esp in the shorter versions. Its a pity that the SL Cricket Board hasn't done anything to felicitate such a talented performer and a true servant to SL cricket in particular and world cricket in general. In India too, we have gone overboard for Sachin's 20 years celebrations (well deserved celabrations indeed) but I think that something similiar should have been done for Sanath as well. I felt bad when PCA at Mohali awarded a memorabilia to Sachin and not to Sanath. He is a humble person of very few words and has always performed consistently & honestly. Cricket lovers world over should salute such a modern great. He should however retire now and save some grace while he is still at it. Cheers

  • idontknowidontcare on December 26, 2009, 6:55 GMT

    I remember some years back Cricinfo published a List titled "Knowing when to call it a day". If they revise it, I am sure Sanath will find a place there.

  • chandau on December 26, 2009, 6:55 GMT

    cranaweera - I think for a captain, it is a bit tough to tell a 40+ year old that he can go on failing and that the management will still support him. MAN Sanga doesn't have to say anything his actions speak far better. Sanath bowls best in one match, then does not get a single over in next one. He's supposed to bat at 6, but comes in at 3 & 4. Not the way to build confidence in anyone 20yr or 40 yr old. BTW wonder what he says to best pal Mahela who keeps throwing it away 4 matches in a row. People who know and have played cricket know value of Sanath to team balance: Can bat anywhere 1-8, can bowl leg spin, can field, like Dilshan. When hes not in the team the bowling is always short and predictable. Even in match 4 it was Sanath who bowled well in the middle overs but it was poor captaincy of Sanga that let off the hook, not to mention his failings behind the sticks. It seems there's no clear thoughts what Sanath's role is anymore among selectors, captain, coaches! Pity for SL team.

  • VENKATASAIPRAVEEN on December 26, 2009, 6:55 GMT

    Sanath has been an outstanding performer for the Srilankan team over the last two decades.He made significant contributions to the Srilankan cricket.Noone can deny that.However ,he has to realise that age is catching up with him.he now faces stiff competetion from youngsters like Tharanga.Sanath now has to prove that he still has some years of cricket left in him 7 retire in style.getting removed from the team would be the last thing Sanath would want & that would be a bad insult to this great cricketer.

  • Charindra on December 26, 2009, 7:20 GMT

    exactly my thoughts cranaweera. It's hard for Sanga to support him at 40. I really hope he can go out on a high, but something tells me it wont happen because if he wins one more match for us with the bat, that'll convince him that he's fit enought to play till he's 42. Such a pity for such an influential and remarkable player.

  • Gajaman on December 26, 2009, 7:28 GMT

    Dear Sanath, what about the guys worked hard & can not get in to the side because of your greedy decision. Let them play as well your time is gone. Please do not be a political selection. You are failed & not getting any younger. How many ducks you made in premier league tournament in 2009. You are not worth to play for Sri Lanka. Thanks for 20 years of entertainment but you gotta go brother with respect.

  • minticools on December 26, 2009, 7:47 GMT

    Jayasuriya is arguably the best opener the world has ever seen. An attacker, a destroyer & a devil for the fast bowlers the world over. He has acheived the milestone of scoring the fastest 50 in odi & the (then) fastest century .... even the best in the game have not acheived this rare feat. The fans of his are disappointed, but he shouldnt be coz Dilshan, Tharanga & Sanga are in such top form, that really cant blame the selectors for his exclusion. But bhoyy ohh boy .... what scenes they were when he used to just tore apart the Indian bowling attack in the late 90's .... absolute fun!!! .... Wish ya All The Best for the future Sanath .... God Bless!

  • sandeep.sandy on December 26, 2009, 7:56 GMT

    Sanath is my favourite cricketer.He is a veteran.With sanath's amazing record of 13000+ runs and 320+ wickets he is the best allrounder.Sanath is a naturally gifted player and a true legend.He revolutionized the top order batting as a opener in his own style.Sanath still is going strong and he still can play a great part in the srilankan team.Keep going sanath.

  • ruwanlrd on December 26, 2009, 7:58 GMT

    It's petty that what is happening to sanath. truely he is a genius. he has done so much to srilankan cricket and i'm so sure that he has the potential to do more. its true that his chronological age is 40. but i think he is physically more fit than some "young" cricketers of the team. there are more players who fail constantly than sanath. I think srilankan management is too concerned about age..... it was on media the captain saying sanath was dropped for a more stable team. the stability was later reflected by the loss of next matches.. i'm sure if sanath were there atleast about 30-40 runs would have added to the score and few more wickets added on too. if you need a more stable team,well, there are players to be dropped( in the team). . still i believe sanath is the only player who can win matches in this team..I'm afraid that same thing what was done to Vas will be done to Sanath too..so..Dear Sanath, do not get discouraged. please answer them with bat and ball.