Sri Lanka Cricket February 11, 2009

Jayawardene to step down

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Mahela Jayawardene: "It has been my long-held belief that my successor should have at least 18 months in the job to imprint his vision on the team for the 2011 World Cup" © AFP
 

In a surprise move, Mahela Jayawardene has announced that he will resign as Sri Lanka captain after the upcoming two-Test series against Pakistan. The decision, announced on Wednesday, comes three days after Sri Lanka lost 4-1 to India in their home ODI series.

Sri Lanka Cricket CEO Duleep Mendis said Jayawardene's decision had been accepted and a new captain would be appointed for the one-day home series against Zimbabwe, which follows the Pakistan tour.

Jayawardene, who sat out Sri Lanka's Twenty20 international against India on Tuesday, called for a meeting with the selectors on Wednesday morning and proposed that the time was right to hand over the captaincy, ensuring his successor had sufficient time to build the team for the 2011 World Cup. He was asked to reconsider but reiterated the time was right, given the heavy season ahead.

He then met Mendis and informed his teammates.

"This is something I have been considering for some time as it has been my long-held belief that my successor should have at least 18 months in the job to imprint his vision on the team for the 2011 World Cup," Jayawardene said in a statement.

"I have concluded that the time has come for fresh leadership to takeover. It was not an easy decision to make because being the Sri Lanka captain has been the source of enormous pride. I hope to play a major part in the team's success as a batsman."

Jayawardene had hinted at the decision last August, in an interview to Cricinfo. "This is a job that I won't do for a long time," he said. "There have to be different challenges. The longer your career progresses, the more you need to focus on your own game and your family."

It is not immediately clear who will succeed him but the obvious choice will be Kumar Sangakkara, the current vice-captain and a close personal friend of Jayawardene's. In that interview, Jayawardene clearly spelled out his ideal succession plan. "Kumar is definitely a suitable person to lead Sri Lanka. His knowledge of the game and his approach is brilliant. He has been a brilliant deputy too. We talk a lot about planning and strategising, so there is not much difference in our thinking, which is very important. If I suddenly lose the hunger to lead then ideally Kumar should take over."

Jayawardene was appointed ODI captain in 2004 and took over the Test captaincy full time from Marvan Atapattu for the 2006 tour of England. One of his best achievements was guiding Sri Lanka to the World Cup final the following year and in 2008 they won the Asia Cup, beating India in the final.

Sri Lanka's away record improved under his leadership, as the team drew Test series in England, New Zealand and the West Indies. He led the team in 26 Tests, winning 15 and losing seven and his win ratio of 62.5% is the highest for any Sri Lankan captain in history. Although his recent one-day form had been patchy, he still scored heavily in Test cricket, averaging 64.70 as captain. Nor did he let his wavering form in one-day cricket affect his captaincy. In 94 ODIs under him, Sri Lanka won 54 and lost 35.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • KasunD on February 13, 2009, 16:42 GMT

    Mahela is great. No captain will be successful as him. Wait and see Sri Lankan media men who playing cricket with pens and paper? In coming years we will need Mahela again

  • nalaka186087 on February 13, 2009, 11:33 GMT

    I think that collectively the whole Sri Lankan team should be responsible for the loss to India. Most of the Batsman (including MJ) failed to score runs at all let alone score fastly and the bowlers failed to bowl to a correct line and length. If it was MJ's decision to drop the captaincy we should respect that as it's right, he should be concentrating on his batting which was POOR...But you gotta admit that SL will find it very hard to find the same kind of leadership in any other current player in the SL squad. Not ever Kumar..Sorry man bu thats the way it is... Anyways we need Mahela, the BATSMAN of old to hold our middle order together...Hats off to the finest leader that SL ever had...

  • Cannuck on February 13, 2009, 1:16 GMT

    I am amazed at few suggestions as replacements for MJ, by some pandits in this forum. Relax guys, we have the obvious choice in Sanga, & no one else. Some even think Sanga should have gotten the job before MJ. So in that sense SL cricket board will literally get stoned if they miss this call. Some of you suggest Vass, Murali & Maharoof! Really guys, Maha ? Why not Dilhara then? I guess you must want SL to go backwards from MJ to Maha. With all due respect to all these Cricketers who are talented, all-rounders & even legends, captaincy is not something you get because of seniority, or your prowess in just batting or bowling. Leadership is something you are born with, cannot be taught, specially in cricket. To be a captain one needs a cricketing brain, to think on the feet, improvise on the go & inspire the team. MJ has it & so does Sanga. From what I hear they have hopes for Kapu in the future, but that's a long way off. Till then please leave the selections to folks who know the game!!

  • minisl on February 12, 2009, 18:23 GMT

    Mahela was no doubt one of finest captains in Sri Lanka and from the world i need not say more about him being a fine captain cause his record speaks for him self . His calm and cool head made things easy for the players playing around him especially in test matches. It is going to be hard to find a captain of such but Sangakkara is equivalent to Mahela. I am pretty sure S.L.C learn t a lot from Mahela as a captain. My view on him resigning as captain is fair. Being a captain doesnt mean that he has the luxury of not scoring runs. Though he did not intend on not scoring runs it did reflect on his captaincy too. A team feels weak especially when the person they look up to is not getting the runs, in this case it is Mahela. I totally respect his decision and see no harm in it cause the likely successor being Sangakkara, who is a great cricketer in the mind and on the field. Mahela is a great captain and is still a great player. I wish him nothing but sucess 4 da upcomin 2 test.

  • moutain on February 12, 2009, 11:29 GMT

    problem with Mahela was under his captancy Sri lankas home record was so poor.Sri lanka has done well in the overseas except CB series in Australia.If i m right srilanka had lost last four home ODI series against good sides.so ithink it is a fair decision to step down captancy.I think next captain should be a all rounder.I mean someone like Maharoof.Warth a try.

  • Fel_rocks_RD on February 12, 2009, 10:12 GMT

    It was always a foreseen insight that MJ was appointed Captain for an indefinite time period. He was never going to be sacked. I think KS and Mashrafe bin Mortaza are the only vice-captains in International Cricket not to have lead their teams in International Matches since their appointment some 2-3 years ago. During this same time-period, people like Mike Hussey and Johan Botha not considered for the vice-captaincy led their respective teams. Kumar Sangakkara, Muttiah Muralitharan and Chaminda Vaas are and should be the potential candidates for Captain and Vice Captain. TM Dilshan is not a peoples person and should never again be considered as the Sri Lankan Captain. He never encouraged his bowlers in the T20I against India. Sanga can be a long-term Captain with Murali or Vaas as his deputy in the short-term (i.e. till they retire); and then some1 like Maharoof, Vandort or Kapugedera can be groomed as a long-term Captain. It is in the team's best interests to remove Mahela as Captain

  • Danusanju on February 12, 2009, 9:45 GMT

    Hi Cricinfo Fans,I am Danusanju from Sri Lanka.I am a bit of surprised with Mahela's decision.This is something I have never expected.I think we all respect his decision.He has taken this decision in the interst of the Team.We don't know who will be appointed as Sri Lanka's next captain but the obivious & automatic choice would be Vice Captain Kumar Sangakara.I too feel If he is appointed as captain definitely he will the Sri Lanka cricket to the next level.Because he understands the game well & has got a good cricketing brain.I am sure he will bring more & more wins.I would like to remind all of you that,in 2007 World cup the former captain Mavan Attaptu was not given any single chance to play by Mahela.Captain is the Boss so he should have called the final eleven but Mahela was listening to Chief Selector Asantha De mel.This is not something we expect from the good captain.I feel sorry for Mavan he had to hang up his boots because of politics interfere.

  • Inam-ul-Haque on February 12, 2009, 8:23 GMT

    I don't think that it's the right decision. Jawardene is best choice for captancy available to the sri lankan team. He is a clever and thinking captain and have good knowledge of the game. I think he is more effective as a captain than as a batsmen.

    To me, the problem with the team currently is trial of too many different players for different series. No team can afford to play a different unit in every game. This causes a major problem to the captain in utilising his resources properly. I don't know the reason behind such selections, but under the circumstances one should realise and appraise the effort put in by the captain. I would recommend Mr. Jawardene not to rsign and would also like to advise the slectors to address this issue.

  • cmili on February 12, 2009, 6:38 GMT

    This not we expected from mahela.As we all know the only reason that srilanka lost to India is TOSS.Because there is a more than 80% chance to win if won the toss.It was proven in the 5th ODI.This was also happen in prev series.This is the nature of cricket.According to my opinion Mahela is the best Captain in Srilanka.As a cricket is team game every body should contribute for the game.That was not happen in last few series.Thats why this kind of condition occur. Since Asia Cup final we only depend on Ajatha Mendis.Team expected lot more than from him.If he was unble to get wickets then it caused for lost matches.Batsman like Kapugedara,Jayasuriya,Sangakkara Should give more than that they give now.so lets get together and face to the challenge.

  • mhmmahbub on February 12, 2009, 5:43 GMT

    yes it is right time to take this decision

  • KasunD on February 13, 2009, 16:42 GMT

    Mahela is great. No captain will be successful as him. Wait and see Sri Lankan media men who playing cricket with pens and paper? In coming years we will need Mahela again

  • nalaka186087 on February 13, 2009, 11:33 GMT

    I think that collectively the whole Sri Lankan team should be responsible for the loss to India. Most of the Batsman (including MJ) failed to score runs at all let alone score fastly and the bowlers failed to bowl to a correct line and length. If it was MJ's decision to drop the captaincy we should respect that as it's right, he should be concentrating on his batting which was POOR...But you gotta admit that SL will find it very hard to find the same kind of leadership in any other current player in the SL squad. Not ever Kumar..Sorry man bu thats the way it is... Anyways we need Mahela, the BATSMAN of old to hold our middle order together...Hats off to the finest leader that SL ever had...

  • Cannuck on February 13, 2009, 1:16 GMT

    I am amazed at few suggestions as replacements for MJ, by some pandits in this forum. Relax guys, we have the obvious choice in Sanga, & no one else. Some even think Sanga should have gotten the job before MJ. So in that sense SL cricket board will literally get stoned if they miss this call. Some of you suggest Vass, Murali & Maharoof! Really guys, Maha ? Why not Dilhara then? I guess you must want SL to go backwards from MJ to Maha. With all due respect to all these Cricketers who are talented, all-rounders & even legends, captaincy is not something you get because of seniority, or your prowess in just batting or bowling. Leadership is something you are born with, cannot be taught, specially in cricket. To be a captain one needs a cricketing brain, to think on the feet, improvise on the go & inspire the team. MJ has it & so does Sanga. From what I hear they have hopes for Kapu in the future, but that's a long way off. Till then please leave the selections to folks who know the game!!

  • minisl on February 12, 2009, 18:23 GMT

    Mahela was no doubt one of finest captains in Sri Lanka and from the world i need not say more about him being a fine captain cause his record speaks for him self . His calm and cool head made things easy for the players playing around him especially in test matches. It is going to be hard to find a captain of such but Sangakkara is equivalent to Mahela. I am pretty sure S.L.C learn t a lot from Mahela as a captain. My view on him resigning as captain is fair. Being a captain doesnt mean that he has the luxury of not scoring runs. Though he did not intend on not scoring runs it did reflect on his captaincy too. A team feels weak especially when the person they look up to is not getting the runs, in this case it is Mahela. I totally respect his decision and see no harm in it cause the likely successor being Sangakkara, who is a great cricketer in the mind and on the field. Mahela is a great captain and is still a great player. I wish him nothing but sucess 4 da upcomin 2 test.

  • moutain on February 12, 2009, 11:29 GMT

    problem with Mahela was under his captancy Sri lankas home record was so poor.Sri lanka has done well in the overseas except CB series in Australia.If i m right srilanka had lost last four home ODI series against good sides.so ithink it is a fair decision to step down captancy.I think next captain should be a all rounder.I mean someone like Maharoof.Warth a try.

  • Fel_rocks_RD on February 12, 2009, 10:12 GMT

    It was always a foreseen insight that MJ was appointed Captain for an indefinite time period. He was never going to be sacked. I think KS and Mashrafe bin Mortaza are the only vice-captains in International Cricket not to have lead their teams in International Matches since their appointment some 2-3 years ago. During this same time-period, people like Mike Hussey and Johan Botha not considered for the vice-captaincy led their respective teams. Kumar Sangakkara, Muttiah Muralitharan and Chaminda Vaas are and should be the potential candidates for Captain and Vice Captain. TM Dilshan is not a peoples person and should never again be considered as the Sri Lankan Captain. He never encouraged his bowlers in the T20I against India. Sanga can be a long-term Captain with Murali or Vaas as his deputy in the short-term (i.e. till they retire); and then some1 like Maharoof, Vandort or Kapugedera can be groomed as a long-term Captain. It is in the team's best interests to remove Mahela as Captain

  • Danusanju on February 12, 2009, 9:45 GMT

    Hi Cricinfo Fans,I am Danusanju from Sri Lanka.I am a bit of surprised with Mahela's decision.This is something I have never expected.I think we all respect his decision.He has taken this decision in the interst of the Team.We don't know who will be appointed as Sri Lanka's next captain but the obivious & automatic choice would be Vice Captain Kumar Sangakara.I too feel If he is appointed as captain definitely he will the Sri Lanka cricket to the next level.Because he understands the game well & has got a good cricketing brain.I am sure he will bring more & more wins.I would like to remind all of you that,in 2007 World cup the former captain Mavan Attaptu was not given any single chance to play by Mahela.Captain is the Boss so he should have called the final eleven but Mahela was listening to Chief Selector Asantha De mel.This is not something we expect from the good captain.I feel sorry for Mavan he had to hang up his boots because of politics interfere.

  • Inam-ul-Haque on February 12, 2009, 8:23 GMT

    I don't think that it's the right decision. Jawardene is best choice for captancy available to the sri lankan team. He is a clever and thinking captain and have good knowledge of the game. I think he is more effective as a captain than as a batsmen.

    To me, the problem with the team currently is trial of too many different players for different series. No team can afford to play a different unit in every game. This causes a major problem to the captain in utilising his resources properly. I don't know the reason behind such selections, but under the circumstances one should realise and appraise the effort put in by the captain. I would recommend Mr. Jawardene not to rsign and would also like to advise the slectors to address this issue.

  • cmili on February 12, 2009, 6:38 GMT

    This not we expected from mahela.As we all know the only reason that srilanka lost to India is TOSS.Because there is a more than 80% chance to win if won the toss.It was proven in the 5th ODI.This was also happen in prev series.This is the nature of cricket.According to my opinion Mahela is the best Captain in Srilanka.As a cricket is team game every body should contribute for the game.That was not happen in last few series.Thats why this kind of condition occur. Since Asia Cup final we only depend on Ajatha Mendis.Team expected lot more than from him.If he was unble to get wickets then it caused for lost matches.Batsman like Kapugedara,Jayasuriya,Sangakkara Should give more than that they give now.so lets get together and face to the challenge.

  • mhmmahbub on February 12, 2009, 5:43 GMT

    yes it is right time to take this decision

  • Partha25 on February 12, 2009, 5:41 GMT

    I think that is not the right time for Mahela to step down. I think he is superb.After Ranatunga he is the best.I don't think Mahela has his replacement at the moment.People are talking about Sangakare.But i think that is not right.Because he already bears lot of responsibilities. As one of the main batsman and also as a wicketkeeper. History suggest no wicket keeper can be a good captain. Other options murali is not the right option as well.Because his type of bowling requires lot of concentrations. He as a man likes to be cared and lead by the others as well. Dilsan may be a options but his position in the team is not permanent. I think srilankas's main problems is their coach. Trevor belis is not idealy suited for srilanka.Specially in the ODI version. Under him Srilaka is not playing their brand of cricket which is very agressive and counter attacking.But at the moment they are thinking defencively which we have seen during the odiseries vs India aswell.So sri. should change coach

  • harrykhl on February 12, 2009, 5:39 GMT

    First of all salute for the greatest captain. Any captain may have a time like this. I think his peak was when SL reached to the World cup finals. Mahela is the best captain, no dought. If Mahela thinks that this is the correct time to make his decision so it is. If he is not confident over him self he can not lead the team for a victory. Please don't mention Sanga as the captain, because I'm a biggest fan of Sanga, He's the best, it might be a very bad if that person is overloaded and SL looses the best batsman in the team. Any way mahela concentrate on your batting, we like to see ur bat is speaking once again. Best of luck for the future and for SL cricket.

  • Praveena on February 12, 2009, 5:28 GMT

    That was a sudden irruption to true cricket lovers. But we know Mahela is a better decision maker in modern cricket. therefore we should accept this resignation. As a cricketer or human being he know wot should he do or not, even in his school days he decided correct things every time. He is the best & he was a one of great past pupil of Nalanda college Colombo. That was a great surprised moved. Hence time for Srilankan cricket board sholud choose the new skipper & his deputy for new era. Snaga is the best option. but selectors should consider, this responsibility not effect for his batting. Finally Maiya got the dessicion. Mahela you are the best captain in all cricket forms,Srilanka ever had, even one of best shrewd captain ever in world cricket history. Further Srilanka need your service as great great batsman. we have no hesitation about that. Obviously You'll do that. Thanks great man.

  • thilana on February 12, 2009, 5:17 GMT

    This is not the right decision, I think he is forced to get this decision by the media and admin. I feel the one who should step down is asantha de mel since his selections are poor and giving too many opportunities to players who do not perform well enough and crickets is not a one man show it should come as a team so when it is loosing it a shame that every one pointing their fingers to the captain.

    Bottom line is this is not the right decision.

  • thilana on February 12, 2009, 5:15 GMT

    This is not the right decision, I think he is forced to get this decision by the media and admin. I feel the one who should step down is asantha de mel since his selections are poor and giving too many opportunities to players who do not perform well enough. Bottom line is this is not the right decision.

  • Sampath_KCS on February 12, 2009, 4:38 GMT

    This will be a good lesson for any future Captain. When you are doing well, all are with you.When you fail there's no one to back you. Mahela in my opinian, will be second only to Great Aravinda De Silva. His technic, style & agrression as a batsman is immence. The only SriLanka batsman who has all the shots in the book & all the shots which are not in the book. He can be calm & cautias when required & can come down the track & loft you out of the park in the next ball.As I have many a times mentioned in my comments..Class is Eternal..Form is temporary...Dont let them let you down Mahela..Answer the critics from your bat & Go for Crown of Aravinda.

  • lk_cricket on February 12, 2009, 4:26 GMT

    Mahela is the best captain SL had. His win-loss ratio as well as his attitude towards the game speaks a lot for it. It is true that SL has been doing badly in ODI cricket for some time now, but that doesn't mean that Mahela should be wholly responsible for the defeat, since cricket is a team game. Even though he was not among the runs during the past few series, we have seen enough instances during the past year where he managed to stand strong even when those around him were falling apart. It is unfortunate that a talented batsman like Mahela is going through a very rough patch and unlucky period in his career. But, that doesn't mean all is over. I still think, he should have remained as Test Captain, even while giving up the ODI captaincy (because SL has done well in tests home and abroad - it is just he ODI format that the team has been struggling). On the other hand, hats off to Mahela for this courageous and humble decision - proves that you are a real gentleman. Good luck Mahela!

  • ceylonrana on February 12, 2009, 4:25 GMT

    Well done Mahela. You have done a tremendous job as Sri Lankan Captain. Some times you were fail but that is an eternal law. Nobody's winning percentage is 100%. How ever you led Sri Lanka to the great victories. We wont forget that. But "Failures are the Pillers of Success". We can be the No. 1 cricket team again. And we should. As a country its time to strive again. Mahela you can do that. Hail to Mahela Jayawardena.

  • chandau on February 12, 2009, 4:10 GMT

    i think his recent bad patch resulted from the England Tour / IPL fiasco under the Ranathunga administration. Cricket is a mental game (as proven by the south africans recently) and peace of mind is essential to perform. look back in time and you will see that both sangakkara and mahela have had a slump since March 2008. my only hope is that Mahela wont be shunted out like Marvan by some under achieving and jelous average set of cricket selectors.

  • raajesh70 on February 12, 2009, 3:58 GMT

    I thought the decision was a trifle premature, but he knows best. And he's broght to this decision, the same maturity and dignity that he has exhibited as captain. I think Sanga is the logical successor, but i shudder to thiink the powers may be might consider Dilshan. I may be an indian supporter, but i think Sanga brings articulation, vision and a great record to the table. Dilshan, in his one off T20 match was distracted, gesticulating wildly at bowlers, and generally not in control of events and emotions. My vote goes to Sanga, and as a deputy either Silva or Maharoof who both seem streetsmart and balanced.

  • DJyash on February 12, 2009, 2:40 GMT

    Mahela was the best srilankan captain i have ever seen.But i think it is th correct time for him so hand over the leardership responcibilities to a fresh mind.and it is a physiological factor to the srilankan team.Fresh mind brings fresh and new ideas and there will bw a new awakening in the srilankan team as they did for the all previous captains,as you can see when ever they appointed a new captain srilankan ream got a new strenght for a little while,Every body can see when sanath took over the leadership they started to winning matches but he couldnt hold on to the winning mood.and so does marvan and mahela,they all had different approach to the game and it worked for srilanka.I dont know srilankans always starves for new things.but if appointing a new captain after every series loss will help definetly we have to do it.but i think it is the overoll srilankan team we have to consider.

  • Fauzer on February 12, 2009, 2:09 GMT

    My respect for Mahela as a human being and a cricketer has just just increased many folds. The greatest thing is that he feels its time for him and is honest to himself, his family, team, and the fans. He has not waited for other's to call for his head.

    Its pleasing to see so many people here have similar sentiments about Mahela and his decision. It is truely sad, then again that is life. Wishing you all the best Mahela.

    PS: there is a lesson in Mahela for people like Bush, Blair, and John Howard.

  • gopack24 on February 11, 2009, 22:57 GMT

    wow...as an Indian supporter, I don't like "MJ" (:D), but I still feel that Jayawardene was a great SL player, and a model for cricket players worldwide...he placed the team above his own concerns...and he played really well as captain as well.

  • Mahesha on February 11, 2009, 22:32 GMT

    Great decision and should be the change that Sri Lankan cricket needed, it all all seemed to be starting to get a bit stale. A change is as good as a holiday and hopefully Sri Lankan cricket can be rejuvenated and finally attain what its capable of. Finally to say that he has been a successful captain quoting his win loss record is a misrepresentation, with the playing roster that he has been provided they should have achieved more than being the 7th best ranked ODI team in the world. Great move by Mahela but I'm wondering why he wasn't booted before. Hopefully he can focus on his batting now and it will be better for the team as a whole.

  • goldendragon500 on February 11, 2009, 20:38 GMT

    This is a mistake, Jayawardene is a great captain. He really needs to guide Sri lanka through in this transition stage where the seniors are slowing bowing out and the new generation and prospects are still be formed. I understand his reasoning but it is the wrong time, especially since the world cup is around the corner.

  • sundar02 on February 11, 2009, 18:50 GMT

    I think every one is saying next caption is going to be sangakara. But I am thinking in the other way. It will be really interesting to see Muralidharan as a caption of srilanka. I think he deserved to a cation at his final phase of his carrier and he can lead the team to 2011 world cup. It will be a great honor for him as well he can use his experience as a bowler who can control the game in the middle overs. Since we can see srilankan captions feel the pressure when they are batting, and mendis under the wings, it is real time for murali to be a caption with free from fear of failure.

  • Cannuck on February 11, 2009, 18:38 GMT

    Apparently MJ is not just talk only as he backs up with his actions too! He's always said he 'd not want to lead forever, & this decision, although we don't like, is full of class. SL captaincy will be in good hands as the incoming Captain Sanga, is as good & has similar thinking, strategies as MJ. Mahela will no doubt continue to play & break more records for SL. I just wish he'd relinquished the ODI Captaincy & held on to the test side, because in tests, his form had not effected the batting. But if he is comfortable with the decision we'll have to respect his wishes. He's also done this without being pressured, amicably with the board, who has insisted him to reconsider. So who knows, if & when Sanga also finds he needs a change out of leading the team, MJ could always take over, till Kapu or another candidate is groomed. SL board should wise up & keep that door open, because regardless of the recent results, MJ is a master strategist SL cricket have ever had! Good luck to you Maiya

  • Kovaipurush on February 11, 2009, 18:25 GMT

    Hasty decision with non inclusion in 20/20. Done reasonably well as Captain. Dilshan may give a tough fight but he cannot take the team from No.7 to No.1 in ODI.

  • KasunD on February 11, 2009, 18:18 GMT

    "Well done Mahela'' as always i knew as for last 20 years you have done the correct thing at correct time.Now you can go and get all the batting records that a sri lanken can get. I want to tell to the world dont ever compare Mahela with (Sachin and Rahul)they were force to give up the captancy ? And they are sucess was no where to Mahel's.If Mahela wanted he should have held the captancy easly till 2011 W/C. As a very moderate and humble Man Mahela was a greate leader to sri Lanka cricket.He will bring more success to sri lanka as a batsmen in the years to come. It has to be Kumar the next sri lanken captain no other.kumar wish you all the best keep SRI LANKA on top.

    Mahela you can achive reat hights as Batsmen All THE BEST FOR YOU

    0

  • cric.crazy on February 11, 2009, 17:57 GMT

    No, Jayawardene should not resign because his captaincy record is pretty good and he is one of the fast and attacking captains in the world. He thinks positively on the field. This will be a huge loss for Sri Lanka if he resign.

  • krik8crazy on February 11, 2009, 17:24 GMT

    Impeccable timing as always from Mahela. He has placed the team's interests above his own interests and abdicated the throne. He and Sanga are the 2 pillars supporting the Lankan team for so long. That must have worn him down. It's about time the younger group of players picked up the mantle to carry the team forward.

  • Asanka_D on February 11, 2009, 17:13 GMT

    Mahela was a great captain..... But it has to be accepted that he did very badly in the local scenario..... The ODI record at home is close to horrible. But at the same time the overseas record has been very good. I think the reason is Mahela's liking to pace bowling. Almost all the time Sri Lanka have been going with three pace bowlers..... This was not the case earlier. This strategy is most likely to be the cause of the poor performance at home. I personally believe that he has taken Sri Lankan cricket to another level simply by adding a "pace" dimension (very evident by the fact that Jayasuriya was not used in the ODIs very much and almost unused against India in the recently completed series- and he almost pulled off the T20 win) to the always spin dominated attacks Sri Lanka have had over the years. It is sad to notice that this might be a main reason for his demisal as captain. This may have been avoided if a more balanced strategy was adopted when it came to spin/pace balance

  • Subra on February 11, 2009, 17:01 GMT

    Mahela following on the footsteps of Rahul, has made a great decision and has made a bold statement that cricket is a game to be played and enjoyed. There is a saying: "Uneasy the head that wears the crown." Perhaps the pressures of captaincy along with his lean patch may have influenced his decision. I was fortunate to watch the great Sathasivam from close quarters, Aravinda from the stands and Mahela on TV - and all three have given much pleasure. All three are great entertainers and on their day make batting the easiest thing on earth. Mahela, there is still a lot of talent left in you and I hope that Kumar takes over and that you continue to caress the ball to the boundary and give joy to the millions of your supporters. Make your swansong as captain a memorable one and win the series against Pakistan! Siva from Singapore

  • jokerbala on February 11, 2009, 16:52 GMT

    I cannot but applaud the honesty and clarity of mind with which somebody like Mahela has gone about his job.I was just reading an interview of Mahela dated sep 2008 in cricinfo in which he clearly stated that captaincy for him is not about holding dearly to his place in the team at all costs.Clearly, his recent ODI batting form has suffered and has made himself accountable.It might have been easier for him to say that every player goes through a slump, and he is just one knock away from striking form,so on and so forth but he has chosen against it.Hope he regains his silken touch and takes Lanka to greater heights under a new leader.

  • Kawal on February 11, 2009, 16:24 GMT

    This is not a surprise. I have always recognized Mahala as an excellent leader and one of the true qualities of a leader is the ability to understand and accept that they are not going to be there forever. His stepping down at this point is vital for him and his country for the future development of Sri Lanka's cricket. This should send a message to leaders around the globe, and this goes beyond the game of cricket. As we see leaders of nations who refuse to groom successors or accept bowing out gracefully for the goodness of the many. As Mahala plays his scintillating cover drive with pure CLASS this decision too is a drive with brilliance. KP

  • mtranasinghe on February 11, 2009, 16:12 GMT

    Mahela was a great captain, who led the team with intelligence and spirit of cricket. Worldcup finalists, Asia Cup. Destroy England. Came behind to win the Pakistan series. He was aggressive but never misbehave on the field. India is arguebly today's No 1 team and loosing to India having lost all tosses is not the end of Sri Lanka Cricket. As a batsman he is temporary in poor form, but he is Mahela and will bounce back surely. As a captain he has done in par with Dhoni or Smith. We need to learn to appreciate the quality and be patient. Mahela we need your contribution! Majority countrymen still love you.

  • mrajani74 on February 11, 2009, 16:06 GMT

    I guess any new SL captain will have to face the same music. You win, get "praised", loose then be prepared to be "cornered". If you are at the receiving end be honest, and lead from the top. This is the only way you can get around. The cricket board will look at Dhoni's success and I guess will appoint Sanga as the next captain inevitably, considering the current state of SL cricket. The formula for a good team is simple. Just bring in players who are capable, be professionals and discipline [no noballs, wides], champion domestic games. If any captain can instil these features I guess you will be sucessful. Remember the game of Cricket is suffering from good leaders.

  • charudh on February 11, 2009, 15:45 GMT

    mahela u have taken a wrong decesion.U are the most greatest captain of sri lankan cricket team and also sangakkara and dilshan is not suppose to be the captain.`mahela think about it again1

  • SachinMyHero530 on February 11, 2009, 15:37 GMT

    Surpersing!!! Jayawardene is not only the great player ,he is good captain too ,i am very upset about jayawardene decision , still he is best in all forms of cricket .......

  • TheKingMaker on February 11, 2009, 14:57 GMT

    It's the time . Well done Mahela, it is a right decision at right time. big question rise among the Srilanka cricket board, Who will be the next Srilankan captain??

  • Viraj_Hewage on February 11, 2009, 14:51 GMT

    Mahela's decision is not only right, but a few months overdue. Yes, statistics may make Mahela probably the most sucessful captain of Sri Lanka. If that is true then it is an indicator how low, poor and hopeless Sri Lankan cricket has been. Sri Lanka needs to have a hard look at themselves and figure out winning ways , home and abroad especially against stronger nations. Sri Lanka needs a "Dhoni"like caption whose aim is to follow any path to victory and not just be in middle path and romantisize defeat or find glory in an honourable draw.

  • Watchit on February 11, 2009, 14:37 GMT

    What Rubbish the most successful test captain, look how many matches has he won against the teams like Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. Away record is abysmal against good teams. The only high point was trashing South Africa at home in the amazing partnership. ODI's record was good until the world cup since then this team has struggled even against Bangladesh and Zim. Winning 15 test matches in total out of which 7 wins were against Bangladesh which means his win ratio against other teams is around 40% winning 8tests out of 19 played against strong oppositions. Out of this 8 Test victories only 3 came away from home besides Bangladesh. One in nottingham one in West Indies and one in New Zealand. I think Sangakara is a better player and will yield better results. Mahela is highly inconsistent and according to his recent form doesnt even deserve a place in the Sri Lankan side.

  • tass on February 11, 2009, 14:35 GMT

    At least Jayawardene was honest to step down with dignity , I always beleived Sangakara to be an intelligent wise excellent leader , maybe its time Sri Lanka learn to grow to be a recognised team like their past players Arjun Ranatunga, Aravida De siVla Hasan Dilkartane. Good Luck Kumar Sangakara , he should have been appointed captain long time

  • rohtheho on February 11, 2009, 14:14 GMT

    @jamrith- Can you please not bring Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar into this. This article is about Mahela who has been a fabulous captain for SL and not two great Indian batsmen and not so great Indian captains. I wonder if you ever thought that Mahela should retire or quit when he was going through a bad patch in tests. I hope no "know it alls" like you ever get a say in any cricket selection or we will never see the likes of Sachin, Rahul, Mahela and even Ponting ever play for their country after a run of bad scores.

    As for Jayawardene, he's been a brilliant captain for SL- cerebral, communicative and able to build a team and back his players. A fresh approach might be what SL need right now and as usual he's read the situation well and handled it even better. Good luck for the rest of your career mate- I'm sure we'll be watching you for many years yet!

  • mk49_van on February 11, 2009, 14:13 GMT

    Mahela is an ordinary batsman - the overall stats (average 52 in tests) mask his mediocrity. But break it down a little and you see the fluff. On Lanka soil he is a veritable Bradman (average 66) on unfamiliar turf outside Lanka this average drops by more than 25 runs. In Australia, till recently the bowling attack against which greatness is judged, his average drops by 30.

    Turns out that now he is an ordinary captain as well. Unpack that record and the fluff is revealed. A good chunk of the wins in that touted 62.5% win ratio - half of the wins in fact - were against the hapless Bangladesh. More grade inflation!

    In '07 after beating India in the World Cup, he spoke about "teaching India a lesson". Someone in the Indian team has a long memory.

  • KumarSenarathne on February 11, 2009, 14:08 GMT

    Even though this is a very sad thing to me, as a country we all expected this news since last couple of months from this great gentleman who did great Job for our country and not greedy on the position. Wish u all the best Mahela & hope now you will unleash your batting skills to the world as most talented batsmen in Sri lanka ever had.

  • Divinetouch on February 11, 2009, 13:49 GMT

    As long as Mahelaji is comfortable with the decision then it is the right one.

    He is the best judge of how best he can serve Sri Lanka cricket.

    Mahelaji is a great ambassador of the game and as long as he plays he will so do so will full commitment.

    Best of luck Mahelaji in the rest of your cricketing career.

  • Akheel on February 11, 2009, 13:36 GMT

    you got what it takes Mahi, Thank you for the services as captain .waiting to see the free flowing batsman we all come to love watching!R E S P E C T!

  • sivaruban on February 11, 2009, 13:29 GMT

    Why can't to give a chance to murali as a captain. he is the highest wicket taker in ODI & Test. But Sri lankan cricket board never give a chance to murali. why they not consider murali as a caption. if u see new zealand vettori is a spin bowler. he manage the very well. i dont no why the srilankan board not give a chance to murali.

  • alavi19 on February 11, 2009, 13:07 GMT

    Hats off to Mahela...I believe this is a very good lesson for all the captains esp captains in the subcontinent who believe that it is condascending to lose captaincy. This is the way towards a smooth transition. How gracefully the man has left his post realizing that there is a requirement for fresh blood in the osition. Teams and nations become great only when the leaders realize that they have to go one day and judge as to when the right time is. Looking at the bigger picture is important and that is exactly what I feel Mahela has done. He has been a great captain for Sri lanka and above all a true Sri Lankan.....

  • iyanka on February 11, 2009, 12:56 GMT

    Mahala has done quite a commendable job at leading Sri Lanka and this was definetely the right time to step down and enjoy his batting for a few more years till its finally time to call it a day which hopefully isnt in the near future.. I dont think there would be any question as to who the new captain should be.Kumar would be the ideal person to take over and i personally think Mahroof should be groomed as a future captain hence being handed the Vice-captain's role.

  • ZICO on February 11, 2009, 12:53 GMT

    He has made the decision at the right time, but I don't think its the right decision for Sri Lanka. Mahela has been a great captain and so he should have continued. Losses do come as a part of your campaign and he should have taken them as they came. Ponting's had a pretty bad year too, but he's not quitting and neither should Jayawardene.

  • Kesara_K3 on February 11, 2009, 12:44 GMT

    Mahela did a great job for Sri Lanka as a captain. One of the best captains ever. I hope he will continue leading the team in Test matches. Sri Lanka needs some flair in there ODI an T20 teams.

  • postprenature on February 11, 2009, 12:24 GMT

    I am a great fan of sanga...no doubt about that!!!!!But when Mahela leads Sri Lanka he has his own styles which was great.Its sad to know that such a great captain is stepping down and it is even sad to know that he is doing it becayse of poor form.I am not happy with the decision but if the great captain feels that it is time.....well then ok!!But I am surely going to miss Mahela.I just hope that he does not lose his form like Dravid has!!!!!Hopefully his successor will be as good as Mahela!!

  • postprenature on February 11, 2009, 12:23 GMT

    I am a great fan of sanga...no doubt about that!!!!!But when Mahela leads Sri Lanka he has his own styles which was great.Its sad to know that such a great captain is stepping down and it is even sad to know that he is doing it becayse of poor form.I am not happy with the decision but if the great captain feels that it is time.....well then ok!!But I am surely going to miss Mahela.I just hope that he does not lose his form like Dravid has!!!!!Hopefully his successor will be as good as Mahela!!

  • Normanbahrain on February 11, 2009, 12:21 GMT

    Correct decision even though it was a bit too late. Mahela should have stepped down when the team was 3-0 down against India and his batting form was zero level. I am surprised for his reluctancy to step-down when he did not desrve a place in the team.Looking back to recent encounters even against the lowly fancied teams it his luck only contributed to Sri-Lankan victories not his performances. Captain should lead a team from the front. That was the downfall of Sri-Lankan cricket. When Jayasuriya was dropped Mahela's advice to him was be among runs to win back his place. Don't you think that applies to Mahela as well. Class is permanant and form is temporary. I am sure with your elegant batsman-ship now you can concentrate to re-build that amazing class without the burden of captaincy. Mahela can be happy that Sri-Lankan cricket will be in safe hands of knowledgeable Sangakkara and sure to prosper.

  • Jehan on February 11, 2009, 12:12 GMT

    I agree that Mahela is a good batsman but no one can forget what he did to Marvan Atapattu during the World Cup. Upul Tharanga failed completely but Mahela did not give Marvan a single match. That was the biggest mistake that Mahela did during his captaincy. May be due to one particular selector's pressure but good leaders do not work like that.At least now Mahela must be regretting it and must be feeling the same way Marvan must have felt at that time.

  • 19202223 on February 11, 2009, 12:11 GMT

    first of all its wrong decision by Mahela.Secondly wrong accepted by Mr. D.mendis. why i tell about that was Mahela is telling that his & kumar's thinking are very similer to each other so why Srilanka need a new capatin with the same thinking.we all saw in the past mathes kumar is the one taking more decision rather than mahela. so my question is if kumar fail with bat then what will happen? now he's doing a superb job as a batsman ,wicket keeper & a quit capatin i whould say in the field. hope mahela is agreed with me for that comment. why dnt we try a young captain. See the sucsses of south africa when smith took over the side he was so young now they enjoying there good results.from my side its a bad decision from Mahela. Michael Croos from colombo.

  • mezrg on February 11, 2009, 12:03 GMT

    I am saddened by this decision. He was one of the best captains we had and the only weakness he had was loosing the toss, which was not much of an issue until the recent 2 series against India where the toss played a major role. It was more or less the groundsman fault for not preparing true wickets than the Indians being a very good team (Not taking any credit off the Indians)

    Mahela Indeed has many more years to come and this also proves his selfish-less-ness to hand it over with ample time for another to settle down. Hope to see him play for many more years to come as he is one of the best we have and had. I only hope that this is not due to any pressure from the selection committee or the stupid cricket board of Sri Lanka. The administration is not quite right at this point of time. Too much of Politics involved which spoils the whole game.

  • trevia on February 11, 2009, 11:58 GMT

    ashan here this was a very good desicion as far as the srilankan team.its time for u to retire from cricket

  • cricinme on February 11, 2009, 11:57 GMT

    Well, he has been a great captain for Sri Lanka and lets wish him a happy ending with a great win against the Pakistanis, his last appearence as a captin.

  • Gihank on February 11, 2009, 11:44 GMT

    Mahela is one of the most successive captain that Sri Lanka had, with loads of characteristics. Also the most skillful young captain ever had for Sri Lanka. We (Sri Lankan Fans) never forget that he is the only captain who takes in to the world cup finals after a long phase since 1996.

    A quality ground work of 18 month unable to pen through a few sentences as comments. Simply the job he had done for the Ceylon cricket is overwhelming. I wish he would be leading the country in Test format for another couple of years while the ODI's and T20's care off by Sanga.

    Though the last few ODI's made few blunders to him, who can forget that white wash for England on their own den. He had placed unforgettable sweet memories for Sri Lankan fans during his duty. Hope the followers do the same for our country while taking examples from him.

    Cricket is a game for gentlemen's and my hats off to this gentleman!!!

  • s.theef on February 11, 2009, 11:17 GMT

    As all we sense this is a very good move.There may be some lucky captains captains whos got better winning percentage than mahela in Sri Lankan cricket history but I think he is the best Sri Lankan captain ever.I'm saying this not looking at the records, looking at his strategies and decisions. however i hope mahela will play better as a batsman.

  • nuzly on February 11, 2009, 11:07 GMT

    Mahela has the second best success ratio in cricket history and one of the most stylish players the game has ever seen. His recent patchy run in ODIs must have made him consider about this.I believe he has made the correct move to step down as captain in ODIs but should seriously reconsider test captaincy.Even when i say he should step down as ODI captain, it's with great honor i recall the great whitewash in England and the wonderful world cup 2007 and many other other occasions he maid us all proud.whatever the cricket dumb ppl may say hats off for the exceptional service you have done to cricket in this island nation!! all the best to him and the successor

  • skrishn9 on February 11, 2009, 11:03 GMT

    "You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain." Political climate, coupled with a contingent of new, untested ( and often inconsistent) players puts Sri Lankan cricket on grounds of uncertainty. The inevitable by-product of teams that transition is lack of impressive results. Experiments that don't pay off are always questionable, which makes captain the most vulnerable victim, and surely Mahela does not deserve an ignominy. That he has given just about enough time for a new captain to settle in by the World cup, and also help him focus on what is really important to Sri Lankan cricket at the moment- bolstering the middle order with telling contributions that makes this decision impressive.

    This move epitomizes his game- all timing and not wielding power. :)

    Shiva

  • mikeindex on February 11, 2009, 10:59 GMT

    Jayawardene has done a first-class job as SL captain and if he feels ready to step down then he probably should - the only reason for carrying on would be if there were no good successor in view, which is certainly not the case. To my mind Sangakkara will probably be an even better captain than Jayawardene and has it in him to be one of the all-time greats (especially if he's not expected to keep wicket as well).

  • Balaji_Shanmugam on February 11, 2009, 10:49 GMT

    This is an expected news from a very talented captian, Mahela. Hope kumar should grab this opportunity with this team mates and move the srilankan team in successive way. Btw, Mahela is the only one srilankan captain who deserves high percentage of winning ODI's among all others, All the best Mahela.

  • jamrith on February 11, 2009, 10:30 GMT

    A bold and honest decision by Mahela. One would hope that some of the Indian seniors would also move out gracefully, I am referring in particular to Rahul Dravid, who has been a superb team player, but just does not cut it any more in any form of the game. Sachin is also more suited to Test matches than the shorter versions; I hope he realises this, and continues to lend yeoman service to the country in Tests, still indubitably the highest form of the game.

  • KailashRamachandran on February 11, 2009, 10:29 GMT

    Its really surprising news.But in my point of you its really a coward act by Jayawardene the team is playing really well under his belt. With the world cup days counting his resignation will be a great upset for the team. Also now the team is full of young blood so they need a experience player to guide them its his duty to do that not like this way..I think now srilankan cricket is in great trouble..

  • santha_cricket on February 11, 2009, 10:16 GMT

    Well it is a right move at the right time. Jayawardena had done a good job in the past and may be his attention towards captaincy was the thing that brought his batting averages down.

    Now it is time for the selectors and the board to decide who should take over the very important job.

    Firstly the board should be put in its place by the Minister of sports. Stop people fighting to get a high post in the SLC. Let the people who love the game take over and run the game of cricket in Sri Lanka. Let us hope and pray the former president who has joined the government camp will get into the shoes of the chairman once again.Wonder if it was a advertisement for him to come to the commentary box during the Indian matches.

    Let us hope that the new captain will do well.

    Also it is time that Dilhara also thinks of his future in cricket. Although you perform well or not you are paid.

  • Aduthoma on February 11, 2009, 10:14 GMT

    Kumar Sangakkara reads bit better than Mahela I think! and if he gets proper support from team mates hes gonna bring them to more success!

  • Amboliboys on February 11, 2009, 10:12 GMT

    His poor run of form only hastened the decision, would liked him to have continued as Test captain n maybe handed over ODI & T20 reins to Sangakarra.

  • robheinen on February 11, 2009, 9:36 GMT

    Of course it is the right decision to step down. Only Jayawardene himself can judge if it's the right time. The question is, however, will his succesor be able to guide the team as well as he did. His intelligence in leading the team showed all through his tenure.

    Speculation onm who his succesor should leads inevitably to Kumar Sangakara. His intelligence matches that of Jayawardene and then it boils down to how well her can lead the team. It is my opinion that that also will not create any problem for the Sri Lanka team. There on an uphill course and I expect that they will still improve.

  • LKKingmaker on February 11, 2009, 9:29 GMT

    he is one of the most stylish batsman in the current era of power hitters.. may be he thought captaincy is affecting his batting and he said goos bye to that post.. Anyway he was one of most shrewed captain in Cricket history

  • SHANTIRATNAM on February 11, 2009, 9:26 GMT

    In a surprise move??? Oh no it was very much speculated and its the correct move. Sri Lanka cricket needs a change and the first step is in its leadership. The next step now is who would take over, hope the Sports minister will not decide this based on what IPL wants SLC to do. Atleast 6 of the eleven players in the Sri Lanka ODI team at any given time should be within 26 years of age. Dilhara Fernando must limit himself to test cricket only and Malinda Warnapura must play ODI cricket and he should be Kumar's deputy. Kapugedara should be groomed as an allrounder.

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  • SHANTIRATNAM on February 11, 2009, 9:26 GMT

    In a surprise move??? Oh no it was very much speculated and its the correct move. Sri Lanka cricket needs a change and the first step is in its leadership. The next step now is who would take over, hope the Sports minister will not decide this based on what IPL wants SLC to do. Atleast 6 of the eleven players in the Sri Lanka ODI team at any given time should be within 26 years of age. Dilhara Fernando must limit himself to test cricket only and Malinda Warnapura must play ODI cricket and he should be Kumar's deputy. Kapugedara should be groomed as an allrounder.

  • LKKingmaker on February 11, 2009, 9:29 GMT

    he is one of the most stylish batsman in the current era of power hitters.. may be he thought captaincy is affecting his batting and he said goos bye to that post.. Anyway he was one of most shrewed captain in Cricket history

  • robheinen on February 11, 2009, 9:36 GMT

    Of course it is the right decision to step down. Only Jayawardene himself can judge if it's the right time. The question is, however, will his succesor be able to guide the team as well as he did. His intelligence in leading the team showed all through his tenure.

    Speculation onm who his succesor should leads inevitably to Kumar Sangakara. His intelligence matches that of Jayawardene and then it boils down to how well her can lead the team. It is my opinion that that also will not create any problem for the Sri Lanka team. There on an uphill course and I expect that they will still improve.

  • Amboliboys on February 11, 2009, 10:12 GMT

    His poor run of form only hastened the decision, would liked him to have continued as Test captain n maybe handed over ODI & T20 reins to Sangakarra.

  • Aduthoma on February 11, 2009, 10:14 GMT

    Kumar Sangakkara reads bit better than Mahela I think! and if he gets proper support from team mates hes gonna bring them to more success!

  • santha_cricket on February 11, 2009, 10:16 GMT

    Well it is a right move at the right time. Jayawardena had done a good job in the past and may be his attention towards captaincy was the thing that brought his batting averages down.

    Now it is time for the selectors and the board to decide who should take over the very important job.

    Firstly the board should be put in its place by the Minister of sports. Stop people fighting to get a high post in the SLC. Let the people who love the game take over and run the game of cricket in Sri Lanka. Let us hope and pray the former president who has joined the government camp will get into the shoes of the chairman once again.Wonder if it was a advertisement for him to come to the commentary box during the Indian matches.

    Let us hope that the new captain will do well.

    Also it is time that Dilhara also thinks of his future in cricket. Although you perform well or not you are paid.

  • KailashRamachandran on February 11, 2009, 10:29 GMT

    Its really surprising news.But in my point of you its really a coward act by Jayawardene the team is playing really well under his belt. With the world cup days counting his resignation will be a great upset for the team. Also now the team is full of young blood so they need a experience player to guide them its his duty to do that not like this way..I think now srilankan cricket is in great trouble..

  • jamrith on February 11, 2009, 10:30 GMT

    A bold and honest decision by Mahela. One would hope that some of the Indian seniors would also move out gracefully, I am referring in particular to Rahul Dravid, who has been a superb team player, but just does not cut it any more in any form of the game. Sachin is also more suited to Test matches than the shorter versions; I hope he realises this, and continues to lend yeoman service to the country in Tests, still indubitably the highest form of the game.

  • Balaji_Shanmugam on February 11, 2009, 10:49 GMT

    This is an expected news from a very talented captian, Mahela. Hope kumar should grab this opportunity with this team mates and move the srilankan team in successive way. Btw, Mahela is the only one srilankan captain who deserves high percentage of winning ODI's among all others, All the best Mahela.

  • mikeindex on February 11, 2009, 10:59 GMT

    Jayawardene has done a first-class job as SL captain and if he feels ready to step down then he probably should - the only reason for carrying on would be if there were no good successor in view, which is certainly not the case. To my mind Sangakkara will probably be an even better captain than Jayawardene and has it in him to be one of the all-time greats (especially if he's not expected to keep wicket as well).