Sanath Jayasuriya December 6, 2007

The great entertainer

Jayasuriya's free-spirited, electrifying talent will be sorely missed. So long, Sanath
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Jolt from the blue: few could thrill like Jayasuriya © AFP

Sanath Jayasuriya's second retirement from Test cricket attracted much less fanfare than the first did, some 18 months ago. It was also far happier: on that occasion he started the match silently fuming with the selectors for pushing him out. It all ended with a dropped catch, a painfully dislocated thumb, and a heavy defeat to Pakistan. He was not ready to walk away back then and it was a bitterly sad and unjust end to a great servant of Sri Lankan cricket. This time, though, he knew the time was right and he finished with a characteristically macho cameo, a brilliant 78 that played a crucial part in Sri Lanka winning the first Test by 88 runs.

Indeed, his innings on Monday afternoon neatly encapsulated all that has made Jayasuriya so valuable a player for so long. He may have a modest average by the standards of top Asian batsmen (finishing with 6973 runs at 40.07 in 110 matches), but right through a career that stretches back nearly two decades, Jayasuriya's runs were often hugely influential. He was, in short, a match-winner, possessed of that rare and precious ability - like Kevin Pietersen for England - to singlehandedly turn the tide of a game, stealing momentum. He did that in this Test, wiping away a 93-run deficit that many at the time thought was a winning lead for England. The rest of the top order may have finished the job, but Jayasuriya was the one who gave them an early wind and swung the match back onto an even keel.

However, though he proved in this game that he still has the ability to win games at home, there's no denying that it was the right time for Jayasuriya to leave the Test arena. As an allrounder he still has plenty to offer in the one-day and Twenty20 game, but in Test cricket his performances have been on the wane for some time now. The gaps between his big scores have grown wider. Age, inevitably, was taking a toll. While Jayasuriya's fitness has remained good, the reflexes were starting to slow, exposing him at the start of the innings. Also, there are younger players waiting in the wings, such as Upul Tharanga and Mahela Udawatte, who now need to be playing if Sri Lanka is going to progress.

Jayasuriya was offered a farewell Test by the selectors - the alternative being the prospect of being unceremoniously dropped - and he gladly accepted it. Characteristically, he made his goodbyes in low-key style. Jayasuriya is a national hero, a legend for many, but he has never sought the bright lights; he is a simple man, a very committed Buddhist. His retirement was announced to Sky Sports after his 78 with a casual air. There was no media release and no press conference. I asked him why, that evening. "Why do I need a press conference?" he queried back. "Murali had just broken a world record and that is far more important than me deciding to retire. If the journalists want a quote, they will find me."

Jayasuriya, though, will not be forgotten so easily. The first, simple reason for this is that for the best part of two decades he has been in the team. Most people in the country have little recollection of the pre-Jayasuriya era. In addition, there is the small matter of his style. In an era of increasingly sterile and mechanical professionalism, Jayasuriya batted like a fearless schoolboy in a park. When he started out, Sri Lanka ate biryani on match days and didn't bother employing coaches. He leaves a dressing room of bland pasta dishes, isotonic drinks, ice baths, physios, trainers, psychologists and analysts. Throughout he played the same way: if he could, he'd whack it to the boundary.

He was a player who routinely frustrated with soft dismissals, but he made up for those failures with innings so brilliant, so daring, so ludicrous, that you were often left in open-mouthed shock. When he walked out to bat, even non-cricket fans couldn't resist looking at the TV

All those fortunate to have watched Jayasuriya over the years have witnessed batting at its most brutal, compelling best. He was a player who routinely frustrated with soft dismissals, but he made up for those failures with innings so brilliant, so daring, so ludicrous, that you were often left in open-mouthed shock. When he walked out to bat, even non-cricket fans couldn't resist looking at the TV. There are few sights in cricket more spellbinding that Jayasuriya on song. Of all the wonderful players I have watched over the years, none has electrified a stadium like him. He was, quite simply, Sri Lanka's great entertainer.

That entertainment played a crucial role in cricket's growing popularity in Sri Lanka. A common Western misconception about Sri Lanka is that everyone is genetically cricket mad. On the contrary, the game was dominated for decades by Colombo's elite, and lacked island-wide appeal until the 1990s. Now, though, fuelled by the World Cup win in 1996, and international success, it is a binding force that cuts across class, creed and ethnicity. Jayasuriya, born and bred in the undeveloped deep south, played a central role in making that happen. Every nation likes homegrown heroes, and Jayasuriya's international success, especially his barnstorming 1996 World Cup, has been a source of huge patriotic pride.

As captain he took over from Arjuna Ranatunga in 1999 and also made his mark with a consensual and inclusive style. He created a family-like atmosphere in the dressing room , and until 2002 it suited the team well. However, as time progressed, the job became harder and increasingly politicised. As a batsman his approach was fearless, as leader he was far more cautious and self-doubting. With hindsight you can see that he slowly lost control of the team in the lead-up to the 2003 World Cup. To be a good Sri Lanka captain, you have to be willing to be sacked. Jayasuriya spent too much time on the fence and eventually it became clear that a change was required. He realised it, too, and resigned straight after the World Cup.

That is not what he will be remembered for. He'll be remembered for his crunching airborne square-cuts, leg-side swipes, and the sunniest of smiles. He enjoyed his cricket and he gave huge enjoyment to others. He was a simple and free-spirited batsman blessed with enormous natural talent. Fortunately, thankfully, Sri Lanka excused him his inconsistencies and allowed us all to marvel at his brilliance. He will be missed, sorely missed.

Charlie Austin is Sri Lanka editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Sujan Rao on December 10, 2007, 13:01 GMT

    "Sanath Jayasuriya" - What a legendary player , he's a pure crowd entertainer ,even when it came to his last test innings he finished it in style..probably the best ODI player SL ever produced. We are very lucky to see the great man action even at this age and hopefully we will see him for few more years in ODI's. He's unstoppable when he's in form and also a more than handy bowler. Some of the innings he played will be remembered for ever ( 340 against India , 189 against India , 213 against England at Lords , WC 96 and etc.). He'll remain a player who changed the face of cricket ,how its been played now.. Being an Indian it was Sanath who pulled me towards SL Cricket.Im sure he won't be forgotten as asian players are always been..You come there in the top 10 when it comes to Cricket Legends..No one to replace you..

    Well done Sana !!!

  • Sach.S on December 8, 2007, 19:52 GMT

    The greatest tribute I can pay you, Sanath, is that the number of people who turn off their TV when you get out is a lot larger than who doesn't!!

    Though you're gone, the legacy you leave behind will live forever...

    Thank you Sana for everything you have done for us. And we will miss you forever...

  • jeff3 on December 8, 2007, 2:54 GMT

    sanath is most certainly an exceptional cricketer... he will be greatly missed.. whenever he comes out to bat it a treat, i always lookfoward for his agressive big shots and articulate cuts and drives. In my book he is one the the best, period.

  • WhoNWhy on December 7, 2007, 23:14 GMT

    Whenever there will be talk of legends who created their own legacy and in the process changed the entire face of the game and forced the world to change and follow them ... Jayasuriya will come to mind. Who has changed one dayers like he did ? If Jonty is a legend for fielding and showing people to what level it can go up , Warne for reviving the art of legspin with his subtle variations, and showing how legspin can be attacking and not just a waiting game ... There are many who have average of well over 50, but have they impacted the game as much as Jayasuriya did. We saw a lot of oneday openers following his style after him but how many have been successful in destroying bowlers like he did ? Thats the grteatest tribute to him.

  • zavp on December 7, 2007, 22:37 GMT

    Ah! my heart burns today.What joy you have given us Sanath!Thank you for the entertainment.Its sad that all good things must come to an end but, You will live in our memories forever.That's no fluke!

  • Nipun on December 7, 2007, 17:42 GMT

    Here's tribute to you,Sanath You do not have the artistry of an Aravinda or a Sachin,but you leave behind a legacy which is completely yours...Have you ever wondered how many cricket fans sit glued to the TV set to watch you bat ???You are the batsman to watch whom we remained awake all night,woke up early at dawn-to watch you destroy bowling attacks,with a humble,sunny smile which made the occassion all the more worthwhile.Will Sri Lanka cricket,even cricket,would remain the same without the smiling hurricane named Sanath Jayasuriya ??? Now that we are not seeing you in test cricket any more,we request you from the core of our heart to continue playing ODIs.Already Test cricket has lost a good percentage of its attraction...please don't let ODI cricket bear the same pain...... Thank you so much Sanath,for those memories..........

  • BEntz on December 7, 2007, 17:25 GMT

    A true hero went away like a hero.Although his departure didnt make headlines due to the WR by Murali and its being his second departure his legend will remain as 1 of the greatest in the history of the game.I think its time to focus on one day cricket in which he is still in charge.

    But as a huge fan of his i think he shud have selected the second test which will b played in colombo as his farewell game coz most of us(fans) cud hav been able to pay tribute to the gratest player of our time.It will b hard to think abt srilankan cricket without a SANATH in the picture.

    SANATH thank u for being the greatest entertainer,fighter,and above all being a so modest and pleasant person.We will surely miss u.....

  • Sujan Rao on December 7, 2007, 7:40 GMT

    He is the real Lankan hero, the day when Sana retires you will see the whole sri-lankans eyes full of tears, because he not only plays cricket on the pitch he also plays the heroism role in millions of peoples heart, he will be the lankan hero forever though he retires"

    Sanath is an will remain an inspiration for all upcoming cricketers.. Will miss you alot Sanath.. :-(

  • Kaz. on December 7, 2007, 3:00 GMT

    Sanath, without you i wouldnt have even gotten into cricket. No other batmen has entertained like you before..and never will.

  • Jamdonutz on December 7, 2007, 2:40 GMT

    Sanath Jayasuriya's brilliance and impact on the game has been well talked about and it is great to see that legacy acknowledged.

    One of his greatest contributions that has been overlooked is that he was a true gentleman who played the game in the right spirit of sportmanship in contrast to the modern norm where sledging and psychological warfare prevails. He spoke loudest with his bat, smiled in the face aggression and was always a true gentlemen!!

  • Sujan Rao on December 10, 2007, 13:01 GMT

    "Sanath Jayasuriya" - What a legendary player , he's a pure crowd entertainer ,even when it came to his last test innings he finished it in style..probably the best ODI player SL ever produced. We are very lucky to see the great man action even at this age and hopefully we will see him for few more years in ODI's. He's unstoppable when he's in form and also a more than handy bowler. Some of the innings he played will be remembered for ever ( 340 against India , 189 against India , 213 against England at Lords , WC 96 and etc.). He'll remain a player who changed the face of cricket ,how its been played now.. Being an Indian it was Sanath who pulled me towards SL Cricket.Im sure he won't be forgotten as asian players are always been..You come there in the top 10 when it comes to Cricket Legends..No one to replace you..

    Well done Sana !!!

  • Sach.S on December 8, 2007, 19:52 GMT

    The greatest tribute I can pay you, Sanath, is that the number of people who turn off their TV when you get out is a lot larger than who doesn't!!

    Though you're gone, the legacy you leave behind will live forever...

    Thank you Sana for everything you have done for us. And we will miss you forever...

  • jeff3 on December 8, 2007, 2:54 GMT

    sanath is most certainly an exceptional cricketer... he will be greatly missed.. whenever he comes out to bat it a treat, i always lookfoward for his agressive big shots and articulate cuts and drives. In my book he is one the the best, period.

  • WhoNWhy on December 7, 2007, 23:14 GMT

    Whenever there will be talk of legends who created their own legacy and in the process changed the entire face of the game and forced the world to change and follow them ... Jayasuriya will come to mind. Who has changed one dayers like he did ? If Jonty is a legend for fielding and showing people to what level it can go up , Warne for reviving the art of legspin with his subtle variations, and showing how legspin can be attacking and not just a waiting game ... There are many who have average of well over 50, but have they impacted the game as much as Jayasuriya did. We saw a lot of oneday openers following his style after him but how many have been successful in destroying bowlers like he did ? Thats the grteatest tribute to him.

  • zavp on December 7, 2007, 22:37 GMT

    Ah! my heart burns today.What joy you have given us Sanath!Thank you for the entertainment.Its sad that all good things must come to an end but, You will live in our memories forever.That's no fluke!

  • Nipun on December 7, 2007, 17:42 GMT

    Here's tribute to you,Sanath You do not have the artistry of an Aravinda or a Sachin,but you leave behind a legacy which is completely yours...Have you ever wondered how many cricket fans sit glued to the TV set to watch you bat ???You are the batsman to watch whom we remained awake all night,woke up early at dawn-to watch you destroy bowling attacks,with a humble,sunny smile which made the occassion all the more worthwhile.Will Sri Lanka cricket,even cricket,would remain the same without the smiling hurricane named Sanath Jayasuriya ??? Now that we are not seeing you in test cricket any more,we request you from the core of our heart to continue playing ODIs.Already Test cricket has lost a good percentage of its attraction...please don't let ODI cricket bear the same pain...... Thank you so much Sanath,for those memories..........

  • BEntz on December 7, 2007, 17:25 GMT

    A true hero went away like a hero.Although his departure didnt make headlines due to the WR by Murali and its being his second departure his legend will remain as 1 of the greatest in the history of the game.I think its time to focus on one day cricket in which he is still in charge.

    But as a huge fan of his i think he shud have selected the second test which will b played in colombo as his farewell game coz most of us(fans) cud hav been able to pay tribute to the gratest player of our time.It will b hard to think abt srilankan cricket without a SANATH in the picture.

    SANATH thank u for being the greatest entertainer,fighter,and above all being a so modest and pleasant person.We will surely miss u.....

  • Sujan Rao on December 7, 2007, 7:40 GMT

    He is the real Lankan hero, the day when Sana retires you will see the whole sri-lankans eyes full of tears, because he not only plays cricket on the pitch he also plays the heroism role in millions of peoples heart, he will be the lankan hero forever though he retires"

    Sanath is an will remain an inspiration for all upcoming cricketers.. Will miss you alot Sanath.. :-(

  • Kaz. on December 7, 2007, 3:00 GMT

    Sanath, without you i wouldnt have even gotten into cricket. No other batmen has entertained like you before..and never will.

  • Jamdonutz on December 7, 2007, 2:40 GMT

    Sanath Jayasuriya's brilliance and impact on the game has been well talked about and it is great to see that legacy acknowledged.

    One of his greatest contributions that has been overlooked is that he was a true gentleman who played the game in the right spirit of sportmanship in contrast to the modern norm where sledging and psychological warfare prevails. He spoke loudest with his bat, smiled in the face aggression and was always a true gentlemen!!

  • Kulaputra on December 7, 2007, 0:28 GMT

    Sanath was not a Duleep Mendis nor an Aravinda. He was a class act in his own style. I am glad Sanath is going out in glory this time rather than unceremoniously like the last time around. If and when I meet you, I will buy you a drink Sanath. Till then, a big loud applause for you, hat in the air, a big THANK YOU for all the good and bad innings. God Bless

  • nagalla on December 6, 2007, 23:56 GMT

    Actually i am an indian,but i am a very great fan of sanath teran jayasuriya.What a player he is?i really cant forget his square cuts and leg glances.Now it is very unfortunate that this cricketing world will be missing this legend.Any way he is still in odi's to entertain us.keep going SANATH(OLD BOY).

  • dinolyn1 on December 6, 2007, 22:53 GMT

    Sanath Jayasuriya was a joy to watch. Whenever he came out to bat, you could just tell that something was going to happen. Occasionally, he would just lose his his wicket unexpectably, but most of the time, it just looked as if he was the best cricketer this world had to offer.

  • slwije on December 6, 2007, 21:08 GMT

    Thanks Sanath, never showed any fear to any opponet nor did he show any emotional aggression towards them either, but his batting said otherwise!!!

  • chameekara on December 6, 2007, 19:56 GMT

    ''Great entertainer''is the ideal topic to describe santh's great career and the way he entertained millions of cricket lovers around the world. He is a hero of many not only in srilanka but also in all the cricket playing nations. i didnt like cricket at all before the presence of sanath. But in the last two decades the way he approched his game made me mad in to cricket. i salute and thanks to sanath for offering so much.

  • arulraas on December 6, 2007, 18:30 GMT

    Heroes in sub continent are easily forgotten and it was indeed a great article from charlie austin to revere one of the greatest heroes of modern cricket. All asian heroes have harsh treatment right from Sourav, Ranatunga, Sanath. Role models like Shane Warne are still respected for their cricketing genius in the western world(though he hit a photographer for taking snap while he was being paid millions to quit smoking; banned for drug abuse; divorced by his wife for his Promiscuity). Why don't the heroes from subcontinent have the hero status they really deserve. It is high time sub continent media and people give their heroes their due respect taking a leaf out from the western books.

  • wow1234 on December 6, 2007, 17:57 GMT

    Hey Charlie, thanks for the great article. Sana boy we gonna miss you. You are a class act. A true gentleman. You are a prime example of the gentleman's sport. At least we have your services for the one dayers and I think we badly need it for few more years. In the middle of all this I wish to thank the English cricketers and their Administration for not bowing to terrorism and abandoning this tour. I think we all remember what SA did when this happened last time. I agree that SA made that decission for the well-being of their players. However England has shown some character here. Bowing down to terrorism is not the way to play this game and we salute all England cricketers, their fans and officials for their bold decission to stay on and play some good cricket.

  • shoni on December 6, 2007, 16:30 GMT

    Thank you for all the great innings you have played and the memories that you have left behind for us cricket lovers to cherish.

    You will always be respected for being a Gentleman on and off the cricket field.

    Wish you all the very best for your future.

  • Buddhika on December 6, 2007, 16:25 GMT

    No doubt about that, Sana will be sorely missed by not only Sri Lankan cricket fans but any one who loves cricket. There were many occasions where I walked away from TV when sanath got out. And also there's a conception among Sri Lankans that while Sanath is playing there's no need to check for run rate or worry about getting defeated. And that has been true throughout his career. But at least we still have him on one days.

  • WASEEMSAJID on December 6, 2007, 15:40 GMT

    jaysuria...........when u read this name on paper watch a short man on your screen wearing blue srilankan dress. The first thing came in your mind is classy fours big hits even he is in test he dont care about what is his position. Is he under charge of droped ( although very rarely it happens) even he hit 6 fours in and our in his last test thats the way he bated. I just cant explain my feelings about his legency. He is godfather of modren cricket.We are saying cricket is going fast and only fit and allrounders can get it now days. So if we think who is the first one who set this trend its Jaysuria.Any time if we talk about the trend setters of cricket we have him on front line. Although we all miss him but its the time to him to get retired as he done. Well Done Santh you have entertained us a long and i hope to in ODI T20.

  • Kochikkaran on December 6, 2007, 15:39 GMT

    I don't know about Srilankan team, but I am definitely going to miss this great allround cricketer. But, I guess the time is not yet ripe to say that we are going to miss him, because, he is still there in Oneday team. And I don't watch Srilanka playing test cricket that much, unless they are playing India. So it is kinda great for me to know that he will hang around in Oneday team for more time now that his body will get enough rest... Good decision,Sanath! And hoping to see more of your dazzling cricket, but not against India, pleeease... :-)

  • ACY1 on December 6, 2007, 15:14 GMT

    I believe that the concept of 20/20 cricket would not have evolved had it not been for the explosive batting style that Sanath Jayasuriya invented in the mid-1990s. Therefore, I propose that the world's premiere 20/20 cricket trophy be named after this humble genius. And Charlie, I enjoy your insightful pieces and pleasing writing style.

  • isuru on December 6, 2007, 14:47 GMT

    Sanath was a briliant test player that could turn a match up side dowm in seconds. He is my legend since i was 10. I know he is very very simple man that is a cracking palyer against opposite teams. Any way SANATH thank a lot and we will never forget you.

  • Srikaanth on December 6, 2007, 14:16 GMT

    Sanath, the marauder from Matara, we laud his efforts on the field. A guy who could hit a six square of the wicket and punish every loose ball whacking it to the fence, an entertainer to the core....Thanks Sanath for the great cricketing memories especially the 1996 world cup. One of the cleanest strikers of the ball, he came in handy with the ball too...a wonderful player hangs up his boots...his monumental 340 against India stands out for its sheer display of grit and brute power... His centuries and soaring sixes in the shorter edition of the game shall forever continue to entertain and enthrall.... All the best Sanath Jayasuriya

  • balajirssn on December 6, 2007, 13:29 GMT

    sanath was an great entertainer.....though i support india....i love to watch sanath's game......he is absolutely a great man,definitely srilankan team will missing the great man from his side....there is no man will equalize him....he is one of the best all rounder.

  • DCDC on December 6, 2007, 13:24 GMT

    Yes we agree. You are absolutely right Mr Charlie Austin. His contributions to the team were absolutely influential. Not only big scores, his 40s, 50s are match winning at most occasions. Sri lankan selectors should have been smarter than this to keep him in the team as a veteran player who bats at number 6 or 7 at least for another year and half until youngsters settle on their roles 1 to 6. Even now they are not too late. Duleep Medis's Or Demel's smart thinking is absolutely necessary here.

  • Azfar on December 6, 2007, 12:41 GMT

    Congrats to Charlie Austin on this great piece on Jayasurya....as he says he will be missed..sorely missed, by cricket fans across the globe (I am an Indian). He reserved his best for India and we were at the recieving end of some of his most punishing knocks...It all started in the 1996 World Cup. It is difficul to believe today that before the '96 World Cup both Jayasurya and Murali were absolutely mediocre players...and then they just exploded. Perhaps Ranatunga should get the credit for instilling self-belief in them. But what an amazing player..even in the T20 World Cup at the age of 38 he was stealing the limelight from the younger crowd with his swashbuckling strokes and his shrewd bowling. He has been one of the gladiators of the game...cricket would be poorer without him

  • Rakeshhosabettu on December 6, 2007, 12:04 GMT

    Another name for coolness in the field is Sanath being very in his approach as a captain n with the bat. He is the next batsman (after Viv Richards) to create ODI atmosphere in the test matches...... Once he batted >1000 hours vs India to score triple ton.... Hats off to Mr.Jayasuriya

  • choc56 on December 6, 2007, 11:39 GMT

    Thanks Charlie, for an wonderful tribute to a wonderful player.

    I for one will never forget the blistering innings he played in Sydney against Australia in a Commonwealth Bank series match back in (I think 2002 or 2003). Absolute fireworks!! Atapattu and he had the Aussies grovelling like they've never done before or since!T

    There are so many wonderful memories, like when I watched him slaughter Anderson for 6 fours in the one over in this last test. I've had the privilege of meeting him on a couple of occasions, and I was humbled by his humility - a mark of a man at ease with himself and his achievements!

    I hope he continues to delight us in the one-dayers in the years to come! All is not lost!

  • choc56 on December 6, 2007, 11:39 GMT

    Thanks Charlie, for an wonderful tribute to a wonderful player.

    I for one will never forget the blistering innings he played in Sydney against Australia in a Commonwealth Bank series match back in (I think 2002 or 2003). Absolute fireworks!! Atapattu and he had the Aussies grovelling like they've never done before or since!T

    There are so many wonderful memories, like when I watched him slaughter Anderson for 6 fours in the one over in this last test. I've had the privilege of meeting him on a couple of occasions, and I was humbled by his humility - a mark of a man at ease with himself and his achievements!

    I hope he continues to delight us in the one-dayers in the years to come! All is not lost!

  • KLMW on December 6, 2007, 11:26 GMT

    I have always enjoyed watching Jayasuriya play and it has been very entertaining most of the time. I hope he will continue to play in the ODI games but be consistent in his approach. Cricket has turned in to a whole new ball game today with the advancement of technology. Maybe, players like Jayasuriya should start making more use of this facilities to outsmart the opponent. Apart from his cricketing career, I have heard of him being a very simple man and a person who helps others. Sri Lanka will never forget him and he is a national icon.

  • athith703 on December 6, 2007, 11:09 GMT

    There is no word to express his tallent..simply a master blaster..capable of turning maches at any point..a real match winner.What ever said and done no one else can match his opener slot gap in coming years for SriLanka, because he wrote a new history in the ODIs by his attacking knocks.What an entertainer he really is! The firs one to get 10000 runs and 300+ wickets.As a SriLankan I wish him a wonderful tribute!!!!!!!

  • apersaud on December 6, 2007, 11:03 GMT

    Oh, Ilove Sanath's style of cricket-his batting,bowling and fielding.Jayasuiya was electrifying, entertaining and selfless, and was indeed a wonderful team-person. He was a great sportsman and cricket ambassador. Indeed, it was his unique style of batsmanship, moreso, in the shorter format of the game, that injected new life into cricket-tearing into the opposition's bowling attack, with ease and elegance. Oh, what a beauty to watch.I am sure many have enjoyed his boyishness whenever he takes an apposition's wicket-entertaining.Sanath must have been a wonderful person,too. He has left his mark on cricket. He will not be forgotten easily. Farewell,farewell Sanath.

  • Half_man_half_machine on December 6, 2007, 10:11 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 whatever....!!!!

  • rshome on December 6, 2007, 9:11 GMT

    He was an absolute legend and a perfect gentleman. The Australians could learn a lot from him about how to behave as role models. It is a good article and a great tribute to such a sporting icon. His bowling skills should also be mentioned, in the latter half of his career he was arguably an all-rounder. On numerous occasion he struck telling blows with his bowling as well as his batting and he should be remembered for this also.

  • VinodhS on December 6, 2007, 8:56 GMT

    Dear Sanath

    You have been an outstanding world-class cricketer, and more so a great humble human being. You have brought us great joy in watching you in action. You have been a great and dignified ambassador for Sri Lanka in reaching out to the world.

    We look forward to seeing you in Melbourne soon representing Sri Lanka in the triangular series.

    Thank you for the memories.

  • coolguy19 on December 6, 2007, 7:59 GMT

    I really type this wit tears in my eyes.. Sanath Teran Jayasuriya.. A real legend.. It was awesome to see him score.. When ever i used to watch sri lanka play.. I would be really nervous while he was batting because you never know when he's gonna get out.. I don't think i have seen a batsman who's willing to take more risks than him while playin strokes.. It is really sad tat he wasn't able to score 7000 runs n pick up 100 wickets.. He should've retired at the end of the series.. Jayasuriya will be sorely missed! Thank you jayasuriya for entertaining the cricket world, hope to see him crack a few more centuries in ODI'S.

  • AugiTh on December 6, 2007, 7:29 GMT

    Ah Sanath, as a youngster and an Indian fan, I used to hate you especially for your triple century against us in India. Over the years, I realised that there is more to it than what meets the eye. It is great to be a champion. But it is awsome to be a champion and remain humble, something the Australian team needs to learn. It is difficult to get me to admire/be a fan of people on face value: biff baff stuff and I am great, but YOU, I hold you right on top of my list, along with Sachin, Murali and Federer. I thank you for the entertaintment, for teaching me the importance of doing things with passion. I wish you and family the best. I am sure cricket will miss you, so will I!

  • DaSrinath on December 6, 2007, 7:16 GMT

    Jayasuriya, apart from being a great sportsman, is a simple,modest person with great qualities. Hats off to him and also to charlie for posting the good sides of Sri Lanka cricket which is seldom seen by other writers in cricinfo.

  • rksuper on December 6, 2007, 6:52 GMT

    he redefined ODIs after kris srikkanth... and will always be remembered for his sixers over point and those lovely flicks over the ropes... SJ.. thanks for being a great entertainer.. of course we will continue to enjoy your exploits in other forms of the game..

  • Manish_Kaushik on December 6, 2007, 6:19 GMT

    He was one of the very best.All of the last 10 years, India-SL matches were more about getting Jayasuriya out, I hardly remember a game, where he scored against India, and SL lost.The best part was he opened in test Cricket along with ODI showing that the game is more about the mind rather than pure technique.The 200 he got in England was special. India was at the receiving end of many of the great innings he played, but as an Indian supporter and more of a cricket fan ,it was always a sheer pleasure watching Jayasuriya.He belongs to a rare breed of cricketers who have played the game with joy. Wish him all the best

  • avssrs on December 6, 2007, 6:15 GMT

    Charlie, this man will definitely be missed. Thanks for reminding us why. Few sportsmen are as entertaining, fearless and selfless as he has been.

  • Watriy on December 6, 2007, 5:26 GMT

    When I was ten years old I used to watch the highlights of test matches played at that time. Undoubtedly my favourite team was West Indies. My favourite cricketer was Sir Viv Richards. That was the time West Indies on peak. Once I asked my father why Sri Lanka not playing cricket with them. He said still we haven't received the test status and we are trying to get it.

    In 1982 we received the test status and played the first match on 17 Feb. 1982. From that day onward I am a ardent fan of Sri Lanka Cricket. I had tears on my eyes when we lost the match. Since then we had good batsmen. We won some matches. But we didn't have a good match winning batsmen as fearless as Viv Richards.

    Then came our own black Super Man the Master Blaster Sanath Jayasuriya. He brought us many victories and entertained us. Brought joy and tears of joy.

    All of us say "Why in a hurry, you could have ended your career in your own Southern Galle much ceremoniously".

    As said he will be missed, sorely missed

  • Lahiru_D on December 6, 2007, 5:24 GMT

    A truly wonderful servant of Sri Lanka cricket. Our most beloved son. Words will not be sufficient to thank Sanath for what he did for SL cricket. Without him, we'd still be the pushovers we were before him. We will surely miss him.

    Thanks Charlie, for the wonderful tribute.

  • Somes on December 6, 2007, 5:09 GMT

    I admire Sanath Jayasuriya for his unbelievable selflessness. The day he scored 189 runs against India at Sharjah, he could have easily gone on to make 200 and become the first player to do so. There was plenty of balls remaining. Instead he got himself out inpursuit of improving the runrate further, without thinking about his personal record. Infact he was a great team player and all his personal records are pure byproducts. Whenever he gets going we can be sure of a Sri lankan win. Sanath, you will ever be remembered as a true legend of world Cricket.

  • striker_force on December 6, 2007, 5:06 GMT

    electric batsman, none like, highly fit for someone of his age and in the days of professional cricket's constant pressures of performance and of being a senior and who started breaking into being a special cricketer late in his career ( unlike afridi ). Though he has passed his peak, it was always a sweet and special memory to have seen his bullet shots.

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  • striker_force on December 6, 2007, 5:06 GMT

    electric batsman, none like, highly fit for someone of his age and in the days of professional cricket's constant pressures of performance and of being a senior and who started breaking into being a special cricketer late in his career ( unlike afridi ). Though he has passed his peak, it was always a sweet and special memory to have seen his bullet shots.

  • Somes on December 6, 2007, 5:09 GMT

    I admire Sanath Jayasuriya for his unbelievable selflessness. The day he scored 189 runs against India at Sharjah, he could have easily gone on to make 200 and become the first player to do so. There was plenty of balls remaining. Instead he got himself out inpursuit of improving the runrate further, without thinking about his personal record. Infact he was a great team player and all his personal records are pure byproducts. Whenever he gets going we can be sure of a Sri lankan win. Sanath, you will ever be remembered as a true legend of world Cricket.

  • Lahiru_D on December 6, 2007, 5:24 GMT

    A truly wonderful servant of Sri Lanka cricket. Our most beloved son. Words will not be sufficient to thank Sanath for what he did for SL cricket. Without him, we'd still be the pushovers we were before him. We will surely miss him.

    Thanks Charlie, for the wonderful tribute.

  • Watriy on December 6, 2007, 5:26 GMT

    When I was ten years old I used to watch the highlights of test matches played at that time. Undoubtedly my favourite team was West Indies. My favourite cricketer was Sir Viv Richards. That was the time West Indies on peak. Once I asked my father why Sri Lanka not playing cricket with them. He said still we haven't received the test status and we are trying to get it.

    In 1982 we received the test status and played the first match on 17 Feb. 1982. From that day onward I am a ardent fan of Sri Lanka Cricket. I had tears on my eyes when we lost the match. Since then we had good batsmen. We won some matches. But we didn't have a good match winning batsmen as fearless as Viv Richards.

    Then came our own black Super Man the Master Blaster Sanath Jayasuriya. He brought us many victories and entertained us. Brought joy and tears of joy.

    All of us say "Why in a hurry, you could have ended your career in your own Southern Galle much ceremoniously".

    As said he will be missed, sorely missed

  • avssrs on December 6, 2007, 6:15 GMT

    Charlie, this man will definitely be missed. Thanks for reminding us why. Few sportsmen are as entertaining, fearless and selfless as he has been.

  • Manish_Kaushik on December 6, 2007, 6:19 GMT

    He was one of the very best.All of the last 10 years, India-SL matches were more about getting Jayasuriya out, I hardly remember a game, where he scored against India, and SL lost.The best part was he opened in test Cricket along with ODI showing that the game is more about the mind rather than pure technique.The 200 he got in England was special. India was at the receiving end of many of the great innings he played, but as an Indian supporter and more of a cricket fan ,it was always a sheer pleasure watching Jayasuriya.He belongs to a rare breed of cricketers who have played the game with joy. Wish him all the best

  • rksuper on December 6, 2007, 6:52 GMT

    he redefined ODIs after kris srikkanth... and will always be remembered for his sixers over point and those lovely flicks over the ropes... SJ.. thanks for being a great entertainer.. of course we will continue to enjoy your exploits in other forms of the game..

  • DaSrinath on December 6, 2007, 7:16 GMT

    Jayasuriya, apart from being a great sportsman, is a simple,modest person with great qualities. Hats off to him and also to charlie for posting the good sides of Sri Lanka cricket which is seldom seen by other writers in cricinfo.

  • AugiTh on December 6, 2007, 7:29 GMT

    Ah Sanath, as a youngster and an Indian fan, I used to hate you especially for your triple century against us in India. Over the years, I realised that there is more to it than what meets the eye. It is great to be a champion. But it is awsome to be a champion and remain humble, something the Australian team needs to learn. It is difficult to get me to admire/be a fan of people on face value: biff baff stuff and I am great, but YOU, I hold you right on top of my list, along with Sachin, Murali and Federer. I thank you for the entertaintment, for teaching me the importance of doing things with passion. I wish you and family the best. I am sure cricket will miss you, so will I!

  • coolguy19 on December 6, 2007, 7:59 GMT

    I really type this wit tears in my eyes.. Sanath Teran Jayasuriya.. A real legend.. It was awesome to see him score.. When ever i used to watch sri lanka play.. I would be really nervous while he was batting because you never know when he's gonna get out.. I don't think i have seen a batsman who's willing to take more risks than him while playin strokes.. It is really sad tat he wasn't able to score 7000 runs n pick up 100 wickets.. He should've retired at the end of the series.. Jayasuriya will be sorely missed! Thank you jayasuriya for entertaining the cricket world, hope to see him crack a few more centuries in ODI'S.