Mahela Jayawardene retires from Test cricket August 12, 2014

Master of silken savagery

He was an artiste who crafted the most technically demanding shots to perfection but lived for the pure adrenaline of battle
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Was there a more compelling force than Jayawardene in full flow? © AFP

Every Mahela Jayawardene innings had its own persona. Every Jayawardene stroke was self-expression. This was true when he played a rasping square cut against the turn to fetch his first Test boundary in 1997. It was true when he hit a searing reverse-sweep off Saeed Ajmal at Galle, on Sunday.

His batting has filled grounds since he was 15. He has won Tests off his own blade, and saved a few as well. He has taken more international catches than any other cricketer, many while captaining Sri Lanka with a creativity that has not been seen elsewhere in international cricket this century. From Nalanda College to Lord's, from softball cricket on Colombo streets to the dustbowls that he alone could tame, he has never ceased to be himself. Across every format, in every capacity, Jayawardene has never ceased to be among cricket's most elemental pleasures.

Most will remember his artistry. Other batsmen are often products of hard work and clear thinking, of processes that have been hammered in, with shots that have been honed, along with the muscles that power them. Jayawardene does all the work, but at the crease he is a free spirit. That liquid cover drive that sent balls in almost any direction on the off side was more dependent on his mood than the physics of the delivery that came to him. The sweep that could go anywhere from deep midwicket to the finest fine leg, in any combination of power and elevation, was decided in an instant, on a whim.

Among Sri Lankan batsmen, his technique has been uniquely resistant to change. The trigger movement is almost the same. The grip is a little lower since he started out, but the hands still feel for the ball when the feet are not quite there. That is not to say he has not innovated with the times. But although new strokes have been learnt in his later years, the essence of his cricket remains as lovingly refined as it has always been. Twenty-first century aggression filtered through age-old method, yielding savagery that seems fashioned from silk. The uppercut off Morne Morkel during his most recent Test hundred was played late, beneath the eyes, over the fielders for four.

That Jayawardene was so often a victim of his own ambition only made his success sweeter. He would open the face of his bat to deflect the ball to third man on seaming decks. He played the hook and the pull when leg-side traps had been set. Bowlers always had a chance, so every late cut past a full cordon felt like an escape. Every trip down the pitch to loft spinners against the turn was a shot of adrenaline.

Was there a more compelling force than him when in full flow? When he was at the crease, sometimes even dot balls were electric. Singles were scored off paddle sweeps dragged from way outside off. Twos were chipped just over the circle, inches from the fielder's reach. A drive down the ground when the ball was pitched up, moving miles; a flick through midwicket when reverse swing was on offer. You wondered why he played this way - why someone so tactically astute would not recognise the benefits of staying safe. But Jayawardene lived on a precipice because he was at the cricket for the same reason as the spectator. Helplessly instinctive, craving attack, he went to the crease for the taste of the battle, for the smell of adventure.

Among Sri Lankan batsmen, he has played the biggest share of great innings, giving each one a different texture and a different hue. The 374 was the monster that grew out of a counter-attack. The fourth-innings 123 at the P Sara Oval little more than a week later was a masterclass in control. The 105 against Australia, on a Galle surface that looked like a cluster bomb had attacked it, was pure survival. Even within the same innings, he would transition like an orchestra through a symphony. Staccato singles and twos gave way to long slow notes, then in a surge of inspiration, the exhilarating crescendo came. Bowlers rarely knew what was next. Fans had no idea. Jayawardene often didn't either.

He could never let a game drift in his first stint as captain. Almost every field gave the batsman a trap to think about. Often they would fall, hitting to somewhere else, but Jayawardene would celebrate like it had all been planned, racing to greet the bowler like they had just pulled off a prank together. Under his guidance, the men around the bat for Muttiah Muralitharan were not just vultures hovering above a prospective meal, they were co-instigators of the action; a living, breathing, sharpened phalanx, almost as central to Sri Lanka's threat as the man whirring the ball in.

Jayawardene averages 50.02 before his final Test. If he is dismissed twice, he needs 94 runs to keep that figure above 50. His less flattering returns outside Asia are known. That edginess against the seaming ball in the channel has been well laid out.

But those who watched Jayawardene play will not forget how he made them feel - the way his innings grabbed you by the collar and took you on a ride. They will not forget the late cuts or the drives, the sinking despair or the dizzying elation. Or the way Jayawardene lived and died, on the edge, for the thrill.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Loewe on August 13, 2014, 4:00 GMT

    Andrew you have a similar art of pleasing your readers as Mahela has in pleasing spectators. You have captured those moments of Mahela perfectly. I've been a keen follower of Mahela since his Test Debut. I was on my way to watch that test when Sana got out, as I heard on the bus radio. The entire city went silent. However Mahela came on later that day and managed to put a smile on our faces, which has lasted till this date. But I'm sure I'll have a tear in my eye this time round when he finally calls it a day, which I'm hoping to watch at the ground. I hope we can win the 2015 WC for him and Sanga. Those who love cricket and value the correct and good things in life will always see these two legends as heroes.

  • harshthakor on August 14, 2014, 16:27 GMT

    Above all Mahela ressurected the spirit of sportsmanship and grace to the game of cricket.His batting posessed the characteristic oriental touch but was marginally below the likes of Roy Dias or Aravinda De Silva in terms of creative genius.His mammoth partnership of 624 with Kumar Sangaakara will be written permanently in the annals of Cricket history.Sadly his average was relatively less in Australia and South Africa.Neverthless one of the best batsman of his era in a crisis who could carry a game on his shoulders.Only his overseas batting average may prevent mahela from being classed with the all-time great batsmen.Few batsmen ever exhibited better temperament or posessed such sweetness in their batting.

    I cherish memories of his 2007 world cup semi-final century which was gem with strokes of golden touch.

  • harshthakor on August 14, 2014, 16:19 GMT

    His batting posessed a silken touch ,charasterictic of subcontinent batsmen whose strokes posessed a unique touch of their very own.He could build up innings of monumental proportions like Brian Lara with the skill of an architect and blend it with the finesse or technical skill of a surgeon and the artistry of a painter.Above all he put his team above everything else and won many an important win for Sri Lanka moulding his team to play at it's very best.His leadership was instrumental in Sri Lanka gaining the runners up berth in successive world cups.

    What may go against him is that his average was much less away from home where he averaged 41 runs and was not so succesful in South Africa and Australia.He was also more prolific in drawn and lost games but neverthless averaged an outstanding 65 in games won which was more than what he averaged in lost or drawn games.

    On home wickets one of the games all time greats who conquered the Proteas and the kangaroos.

  • on August 14, 2014, 14:06 GMT

    Once in a while, a natural batsman is born, who has all the qualities that crowds love - the style, natural timing, the wish to dominate bowlers, the thrill of trying out the most audacious shots. Mahela, Brian Lara and Mark Waugh are prime examples. There are the others who are less gifted and need to work on their techniques and temperaments to succeed. Indeed, the latter batsmen often come to dominate the record books and statistics. We need both types in international cricket but the kind of pleasure we derive as spectators is distinctly different. Having watched Mahela on numerous occasions - both on grounds around Sri Lanka and on the TV - I would like to thank him for the pride and pleasure he has given us over the years, particularly when we had very little else to cheer about here in Sri Lanka.

  • baghels.a on August 14, 2014, 13:48 GMT

    As an Indian fan i salute the brilliance of Mahela.... i wanted to shower Mahela with glowing praise and indulge in waxing eloquence but i am not even going to try it because nothing i write would come even 1/10th of what brilliant Mr Andrew Fidel Fernando has written, just like Mahela was an artist with bat Andrew is with words...take a bow Andrew ....

  • lillee4PM on August 14, 2014, 3:00 GMT

    Although, in my opinion, Sangakkara is the better batsman of the two and more pleasing to watch, this does not take away from Jayawardene's brilliance. Having the privilege of watching them play together, now that has been something truly special. Good luck Mahela and many thanks to an absolute gentleman of the game.

  • Cricketluv on August 14, 2014, 1:46 GMT

    Mere presence in the team added another eleven to the side. He is yet to come or still in the middle for what ever target made us glued to the TV. Such a character. Sudath Liyanage, UNIVOTEC, Sri Lanka

  • on August 13, 2014, 23:43 GMT

    Funny how for certain people Murali took wickets on raging turners in SL but Mahela made runs on flat pitches in SL. What is it? You can't have it both ways. The same wicket might look flat when Mahela bats and looks like a raging turner when Murali bowls. That's the only explanation.

  • Kushal.Veerarathne on August 13, 2014, 18:15 GMT

    @MAW71,

    Your comment "Jealousy won't take you anywhere" has no sense or context to what we are talking here. Mahela could be a great player to biased people, but for a shrewd cricket follower and an ardent SL fan like me, he is just another flat track player. Infact his record in other subcontinent teams itself is pretty ordinary. IMO, SL just produce 1 legend muralitharan and 2 greats De silva and sangakkara. Rest others are just good players, thats it.

  • CricketChat on August 13, 2014, 17:03 GMT

    I really wish Mahela signs-off with a 100 and an average over 50 (just realized he crossed 50 again after falling into high 40s recently) both of which he richly deserves.

  • Loewe on August 13, 2014, 4:00 GMT

    Andrew you have a similar art of pleasing your readers as Mahela has in pleasing spectators. You have captured those moments of Mahela perfectly. I've been a keen follower of Mahela since his Test Debut. I was on my way to watch that test when Sana got out, as I heard on the bus radio. The entire city went silent. However Mahela came on later that day and managed to put a smile on our faces, which has lasted till this date. But I'm sure I'll have a tear in my eye this time round when he finally calls it a day, which I'm hoping to watch at the ground. I hope we can win the 2015 WC for him and Sanga. Those who love cricket and value the correct and good things in life will always see these two legends as heroes.

  • harshthakor on August 14, 2014, 16:27 GMT

    Above all Mahela ressurected the spirit of sportsmanship and grace to the game of cricket.His batting posessed the characteristic oriental touch but was marginally below the likes of Roy Dias or Aravinda De Silva in terms of creative genius.His mammoth partnership of 624 with Kumar Sangaakara will be written permanently in the annals of Cricket history.Sadly his average was relatively less in Australia and South Africa.Neverthless one of the best batsman of his era in a crisis who could carry a game on his shoulders.Only his overseas batting average may prevent mahela from being classed with the all-time great batsmen.Few batsmen ever exhibited better temperament or posessed such sweetness in their batting.

    I cherish memories of his 2007 world cup semi-final century which was gem with strokes of golden touch.

  • harshthakor on August 14, 2014, 16:19 GMT

    His batting posessed a silken touch ,charasterictic of subcontinent batsmen whose strokes posessed a unique touch of their very own.He could build up innings of monumental proportions like Brian Lara with the skill of an architect and blend it with the finesse or technical skill of a surgeon and the artistry of a painter.Above all he put his team above everything else and won many an important win for Sri Lanka moulding his team to play at it's very best.His leadership was instrumental in Sri Lanka gaining the runners up berth in successive world cups.

    What may go against him is that his average was much less away from home where he averaged 41 runs and was not so succesful in South Africa and Australia.He was also more prolific in drawn and lost games but neverthless averaged an outstanding 65 in games won which was more than what he averaged in lost or drawn games.

    On home wickets one of the games all time greats who conquered the Proteas and the kangaroos.

  • on August 14, 2014, 14:06 GMT

    Once in a while, a natural batsman is born, who has all the qualities that crowds love - the style, natural timing, the wish to dominate bowlers, the thrill of trying out the most audacious shots. Mahela, Brian Lara and Mark Waugh are prime examples. There are the others who are less gifted and need to work on their techniques and temperaments to succeed. Indeed, the latter batsmen often come to dominate the record books and statistics. We need both types in international cricket but the kind of pleasure we derive as spectators is distinctly different. Having watched Mahela on numerous occasions - both on grounds around Sri Lanka and on the TV - I would like to thank him for the pride and pleasure he has given us over the years, particularly when we had very little else to cheer about here in Sri Lanka.

  • baghels.a on August 14, 2014, 13:48 GMT

    As an Indian fan i salute the brilliance of Mahela.... i wanted to shower Mahela with glowing praise and indulge in waxing eloquence but i am not even going to try it because nothing i write would come even 1/10th of what brilliant Mr Andrew Fidel Fernando has written, just like Mahela was an artist with bat Andrew is with words...take a bow Andrew ....

  • lillee4PM on August 14, 2014, 3:00 GMT

    Although, in my opinion, Sangakkara is the better batsman of the two and more pleasing to watch, this does not take away from Jayawardene's brilliance. Having the privilege of watching them play together, now that has been something truly special. Good luck Mahela and many thanks to an absolute gentleman of the game.

  • Cricketluv on August 14, 2014, 1:46 GMT

    Mere presence in the team added another eleven to the side. He is yet to come or still in the middle for what ever target made us glued to the TV. Such a character. Sudath Liyanage, UNIVOTEC, Sri Lanka

  • on August 13, 2014, 23:43 GMT

    Funny how for certain people Murali took wickets on raging turners in SL but Mahela made runs on flat pitches in SL. What is it? You can't have it both ways. The same wicket might look flat when Mahela bats and looks like a raging turner when Murali bowls. That's the only explanation.

  • Kushal.Veerarathne on August 13, 2014, 18:15 GMT

    @MAW71,

    Your comment "Jealousy won't take you anywhere" has no sense or context to what we are talking here. Mahela could be a great player to biased people, but for a shrewd cricket follower and an ardent SL fan like me, he is just another flat track player. Infact his record in other subcontinent teams itself is pretty ordinary. IMO, SL just produce 1 legend muralitharan and 2 greats De silva and sangakkara. Rest others are just good players, thats it.

  • CricketChat on August 13, 2014, 17:03 GMT

    I really wish Mahela signs-off with a 100 and an average over 50 (just realized he crossed 50 again after falling into high 40s recently) both of which he richly deserves.

  • Zetta on August 13, 2014, 14:00 GMT

    Big RESPECT for the player and the author! Enough said!

  • on August 13, 2014, 11:39 GMT

    For me one of his best innings was in 2011 WC final in Mumbai. Although SriLanka lost the match, at one point in their innings they were clearly bogged down by Indian bowling at 50 odd for 3 wickets. Then came Mahela and without breaking a sweat( or so it seemed), he cruised SriLanka to 270 odd. It was a very fine innings of highest class. Despite India winning, I was feeling sad for Mahela on that day.

  • gt_doss on August 13, 2014, 9:56 GMT

    Undoubtedly Mahela is the best Sri Lankan batsman till date, though it is too early to decide, since another great veteran Sangakkara is on the line...Both these players made SL Cricket very proud from their stylish batting. Mahela, a gifted stylist, gentleman and a wonderful ambassador of cricket....Still I hope Mahela will be in Cricket, as Coach or Manager or Member of SL Cricket Board...Wishing Mahela a lot of fun, enjoyment and all success in his future endeavors...

  • gmsjgmsj on August 13, 2014, 9:25 GMT

    The three most graceful modern batsmen - in my opinion - were Mark Waugh, Carl Hooper and Mahela Jayawardene. In their batting one could sense the uncaging of sublimity and finesse of a jungle cat. So sure were they with their footwork and wrists, that they made batting look easy against the most difficult of bowlers and pitches. Now that we can never see the first two bat again, lets revile till WC 2015 in the joy of the Mahela batsmanship. Who can ever forget his ton in the WC 2011 final and heres to you Mahela to repeat that magic in yet another final in 2015. Thanks for your memories. God bless!

  • on August 13, 2014, 9:15 GMT

    Thank you for the great memories you gave us! Thank you for being such a brilliant servant for Sri Lanka! Thank you for your brave, outstanding, honest leadership which brought us many victories! Thank you for being a great example for the youngsters! Thank you for the entertainment! Thank you for being a great human being, great Sri Lankan who brought fame and proud for our small island! Thank you Mahela! Thank you very much!!! Wish you a magnificent farewell and wish you can win your last test match for us and for Sri Lanka. Wish you can bring the 2015WC as well with Sanga just like in the T20WC. #Respect #Legend #ThankYouMahela

  • on August 13, 2014, 9:12 GMT

    Mahela, in our era, truly I have not seen a cricketer who has such a smooth silky shots in any format. There may be better achievers than him in current era of cricket, but there is no one who can surpass him in technique, elegance of strokes and calmness on the field. You beauty to watch man! and I believe you took a right decision at right time as you always did in the field! But sadly we gonna miss the most technically effluent silky stroke batsmen of our era! Thank you Mahela for giving us another reason to love cricket!

  • KW-SL on August 13, 2014, 9:08 GMT

    Thanks Mahela for all the entertainment, you have been great to watch! We all Sri Lankans proud about u.

    Whatever said & done you are one of all time great cricketing legend. Wish u all the best!

  • on August 13, 2014, 9:07 GMT

    Mahela you have done Sri Lanka proud by your Dedication, Commitment, Leadership and Great Batsmanship around the cricket arenas of the world. You are a true legend and we salute you for your fantastic contribution to this noble game. may I quote; "For when the One Great Scorer comes, To write against your name, He marks-not whether you won or lost, But how you played the game"

  • Hareendra on August 13, 2014, 8:37 GMT

    I hope Mahela gets the chance to leave with a century!

  • MAW71 on August 13, 2014, 8:34 GMT

    @Kushal.Veerarathne: Jealousy won't take you anywhere. Please learn to appreciate things in life. As a SL cricket fan who has watched Mahela scoring centuries in England I consider Mahela as one of Sri Lanka's greats. Please just appreciate the great service Mahela has done to SL cricket rather than talking about his great record at SSC which it-self is a great achievement.

  • on August 13, 2014, 8:08 GMT

    its sad to see him not playing test cricket. he is my all time fav batsman, very good character.

  • Nutcutlet on August 13, 2014, 7:45 GMT

    Mahela Jayawardene: gifted stylist, great batsman, gentleman and wonderful ambassador. In short, a cricketing great. The cricketing world will miss you. You have graced our game on the field. Allow me to hope that you'll continue to grace it behind the scenes. Wishing you a retirement full of achievement and enjoyment.

  • nickexplore on August 13, 2014, 7:20 GMT

    There is the added incentive for Mahela at the SSC, to score an aggregate of 100 runs over his final two innings, or a 50 aggregate with one innings a not out. His pre- match Test average stands at 50.02. He deserves to finish with a 50+ career average, the benchmark of the world's greatest batsmen.

  • on August 13, 2014, 6:55 GMT

    mahela fantastic player with right amount of calmness. he is best human first apart from batsman.

  • on August 13, 2014, 6:40 GMT

    Mahela will be deeply missed by the cricket's most enthusiastic fans.He was not just a batsman he was an artiste as referred by Andrew in this article.His flare,might and flamboyance will be no longer in tests,his charming smile that could enlighten many of his followers was his forte in or out of the field he was a humble guy despite all of his talents and responsibilities hats off to u sir!Thanks for all those memories that could be related for many a centuries to come

  • Kushal.Veerarathne on August 13, 2014, 6:33 GMT

    @hiranya

    More than the others who commented on Mahela's average, your comment infact does more belittling on Mahela as you have compared Mahela to those who have not played cricket ... LOL ... yes Mahela has achieved much much better than those who have not played cricket, but for those who have played intl cricket, his record is left much much to be desired outside subcontinent (infact outside SSC, columbo). You dont call someone as legend who has a large standard deviation number with peak set to JUST one ground. You can do research yourselves comparing with other greats like sachin, lara, ponting, dravid, kallis, inzi, sanga etc

  • lovethecarpenter on August 13, 2014, 6:08 GMT

    Thanks Mahela for the sheer artistry of your game. We have so many good batsmen in SL. But you made the game more beautiful. You made me say ah and uh many a time and had me breathless! Enjoy your family and the rewards of all your hard work! Thanks too for being a good aiya to Mathews and the next generation. I will miss watching you. But will talk about you. Thankfully we have a few more great guys around!!!

  • on August 13, 2014, 6:03 GMT

    I m an indian fan nevertheless jayawardene comes in my list of top 3 batsman i have witnessed playing(the other two r sachin and kallis) ....the thing i like most about mahela is apart from being a good cricketer ,he is also a good person.....very often i have seen him indulge in on fields words fight with other players...he is a great inspiration to the youngsters....his loss from the cricket cannot be filled.....i will surely miss his batting and his masterclass strokes......

  • tao585 on August 13, 2014, 5:59 GMT

    Mahela,

    Pakistani fans would miss you. :(

  • on August 13, 2014, 5:55 GMT

    As usual an interesting article of Andrew. International cricket particularly SL cricket will miss Mahela.Hope he will be involved in cricket in other capacity and depart his knowledge and share his cricketing brain.Good luck & God bless.

  • RoshJ on August 13, 2014, 5:40 GMT

    Again a well written article Adrew!!

    Adios to a great legend, a skill-full artist who produced amazing paintings not with a brush but witha bat...most of all a humble and a gentle human being!! Gonna miss ya Maiyya...farewell!

  • katch47 on August 13, 2014, 5:32 GMT

    Wish you all the best Mahela, go and finish your test career in high. People who are bashing mahela for not scoring outside asia please mind he has scored match saving innings for SL (Lords 2006 e.g) He was SL's well known last man standing.What he has done for the cricket, for the country makes him the great player he is. So your ill comments won't change anything

  • Dimesh on August 13, 2014, 5:27 GMT

    Great Player but he ruins his own Great career with Revers Sweep. last 2 years only 1-2 times he succeeded but other whole 2 years got failed with that. I'm afraid that if he continues this shot till 2015 WC will have a negative results with 1 Big Bats lost on WC. Or if mahela forgot whole cricket book shots and practice only that his fav. Revers Sweep, then we will have chance in 2015 WC.

  • on August 13, 2014, 5:19 GMT

    Mahela...Thank You very much for the grate memories... how can I ever forget that how you flick waqar for 2 sixes in same over sharjah. Your first test century against NZ in Galle.. One of the best test innings I have ever watched..the century in Australia in that famous match against England....Thanks Again..

  • Welay-White-Water on August 13, 2014, 4:45 GMT

    Excellent record behind you. You did everything for SL cricket. All cricket fans love you.

  • Nuwas on August 13, 2014, 4:43 GMT

    A True Legend of the Game of Cricket is about to say his ware well to the Test Loving Community... Gotta be very emotional 5 days tomorrow onward for us... Test Cricket is going to loose some considerable amount of "Class", "Elegance" & "Strategies" with the departure of this Great Technician. but as always there are already shown signs of (some insignificant) "haters gonna hate" aspect as well... Valuable article Andrew, keep it up....

  • ground-boy on August 13, 2014, 4:41 GMT

    Mahela's presence always kept Sri Lanka cricket on top. His duties started when SL was the defending world champions and seniors Mahanama and Gura from same Al ma mater were almost at the end of their careers. Elegant strokemaker in MJ ,used as the main stay from No.1 - 4 positions anchoring and thundering innings in all formats. SL cricket struggling to find an equal replacement. Congrats. Tactful SL CAP, one of the all time great world masters.

  • on August 13, 2014, 4:39 GMT

    A huge loss to the cricketing world! One of best cricketers, not just in terms of skill and class, but temperament and character!

  • karthik_ig on August 13, 2014, 4:25 GMT

    Normally left handers will be so elegant to watch..but one right hand batsman who is so stylish is Jayawardene..he made batting looks easy when on song..definetly one of the stylish right handers who have played the game..great leadership qualities should not be forgotten..all the best mahela..

  • abidaltaf@hotmail.com on August 13, 2014, 3:33 GMT

    best captain of srilanka and one of the best ever

  • naveen1122 on August 13, 2014, 3:31 GMT

    Since I saw him playing for Nalanda in mid-90s, I knew Mahela was going to be one of the best captains for Sri Lanka; but his mastery in batting made him not better but the best. He is retiring at the peak, and farewell to the The Legendary batsmen-captain. Andrew's reading is so great and it describes everything so visually like Mahela showed us with the bat.

  • on August 13, 2014, 2:49 GMT

    A very over the top bombastic piece. Else what do this line mean "That liquid cover drive that sent balls in almost any direction on the off side was more dependent on his mood than the physics of the delivery that came to him.". Really Mr Fernando? Why cant you write more about of his fine innings outside Asia?

  • Lion_Wallaby on August 13, 2014, 2:31 GMT

    well played Mahela!!! Hope you will continue to serve Sri Lankan cricket..

  • Sexysteven on August 13, 2014, 2:25 GMT

    Looking ford to mahelas last test match he's been great for Sri Lankan cricket over the years he loses marks for only playing well in Asia that's why sanga is away more classy batsmen but Mahela has done his bit for Sri Lanka great captain great slip catcher avery good batsmen hope he gets agood send off

  • on August 13, 2014, 2:16 GMT

    Sri-Lankan Cricket will miss A Great Test Legend Of 21st Century.Wishing you All the Best for Your Future .

  • on August 13, 2014, 1:23 GMT

    If cricket was a game of music Yanni of cricket is gonna retire,what an elegant batsmen.hope to see you do well in odis.cheers maiyaa !

  • Rajesh_india_1990 on August 13, 2014, 0:34 GMT

    Best flat track player i have ever seen...

  • on August 13, 2014, 0:33 GMT

    Very sad to see Mahela is going. He is legend to most cricket followers except few hate guys who never enjoy proper cricket but just keep hate for everything. For me Mahela one of the best odi inning came in 2007 world cup semi final with NZ. His creative strokes and captaincy changed everything. Well done Mahela. Wish you very happy time in your new life.

  • on August 13, 2014, 0:14 GMT

    What a nice article. Proud of you Mahela. You have done more than we expected for our country. We knew you have a good family to be with but still we love if you can do some thing for SriLanka cricket in future. Thank you for your brilliant cricket display last 17 years. All the best for your future.

  • on August 13, 2014, 0:06 GMT

    An end to a colorful and eventful career. Little sad that he was not able to lift the ODI world cup as the team came so close to lifting the WC twice. The entertainment he provided in the cricket field was to be remembered as one of the best from Sri Lanka. Good Luck for all his future endeavors. AMM Nizam

  • hiranya on August 12, 2014, 23:49 GMT

    Dear people who comment about Mahela's average out side subcontinent, Mahela has achieved a lot and what have YOU achieved?? Thanks

  • on August 12, 2014, 23:05 GMT

    Very elegant piece of writing.

  • msnsrinivas on August 12, 2014, 22:29 GMT

    The innings he played in the 2011 world cup final was immense. Didn't put a foot wrong and didn't play a shot in anger.

  • on August 12, 2014, 21:33 GMT

    I consider myself very much privileged as I watched rise of lions and after rantunga, aravinda and sanath, mahela and sanga increased the respectability of Sri Lankan team in the mind of fans all over the world. hats off to mahela.. bowing out with tremendous dignity.. wish SLC & BCCI arrange 150th test for silky master at SCC.. which will be true send off to great man!!

  • kc69 on August 12, 2014, 21:01 GMT

    Mahela and Sanga are 2 pillars of SL cricket accross all countries they still hold admiration worldwide.I hope Mahela ends his career on a high with a big one, good luck from Indian fan.

  • on August 12, 2014, 20:26 GMT

    All Nalandians and Sri Lankan cricket fans at SSC on the 14-18th, viewing the PAK Vs SL 2nd Test even from overseas on TV will be shedding warm "Tears of Happiness" when Mahela completes his Golden Career Test Innings, in his own master class at his own super bowl cradle!! Good Luck Mahela from a very old Nalandian with a determination to cheer for you and SL on the 29th March at MCG when you will be doing the final curtain raiser in cricket, for sure.

  • on August 12, 2014, 20:22 GMT

    indians always repeat same thing again and agian ..that's boring man....we can't even read a cricket page without indian's same comments...

    sachin is a former single batsman for other cricket nations.... we don't even care about him... keep his honour on cricket.. so don't post same things again and again

  • on August 12, 2014, 19:52 GMT

    An artist like Michel Vaughn De SIlva

  • on August 12, 2014, 19:49 GMT

    Gem in cricket history

  • on August 12, 2014, 19:46 GMT

    THE TEAM MAN ..we are going to miss him soo.. ..unfortunately he is not in form ,but he can take the form when team most needed him.. i'm sure that tears soaks my eyes when u play the last match

  • on August 12, 2014, 19:37 GMT

    Master class on flat slow tracks, nothing substantial outside subcontinent.

  • on August 12, 2014, 19:29 GMT

    Truly a legend, nobody can deny it! Love from Pakistan!

    Haters gonna burn, Go lions go,.. Ignore them!

  • nainil0683 on August 12, 2014, 19:03 GMT

    A true Sri Lankan legend, man of steel. Could have gone for 2 more years. Hope he retires with an average of over 50, just like all other active and retired players with 10,00+ career International Test runs. Good Luck!

  • Liyan_SLCT on August 12, 2014, 18:53 GMT

    Mayya... We call Mayyya when we all together in Nalanda College... So Mayya I don't have any words to express my feelings to ur retirement. I am as a school class friend School cricket team mate SL miss the SL's most valuable two sons one. Sanga and Mayya is the most loving son's in SL mother's. My eyes will get tears surely when u will going to play ur last test hurrah in SSC.. So mayya tomorrow night i am leaving from Melbourne to see your Fair well test. C ya @ SSC mayya.....

  • pitch_it_up on August 12, 2014, 18:48 GMT

    Mahela took leadership when SL team was looking for one, and I used to wonder how could such a nice guy take up such a responsibility that has to deal with not-so-good things that come with that position. Atapattu was a good captain, but after losing 6-1 to India (for which he cannot be solely responsible...it was just that we (India) were playing good and chasing any target in those days. So, to remove Atapattu and reinstate Mahela was a tough decision. The numbers might not do justice to the promise he had displayed initially (getting selected to SL national team when Sangakkara was nowhere in news), but he never lost his composure. Truly, along with the retirement of VVS, RD, and now Mahela, the old school of class and artistry is lost in the current power-game.

  • pitch_it_up on August 12, 2014, 18:45 GMT

    One of my favorite players from SL. I always liked SL and their players (and still do with the exception of a few unsporting decisions taken by Sangakkara and Arjuna Ranatunga - the latter, in my books, is the greatest captain along with Mahela, Nassr Hussain and Mark Taylor), and Mahela represented that SL culture - competitive yet never losing grace and politeness.

  • tests_the_best on August 12, 2014, 18:38 GMT

    Yes good career but frankly unlike his compatriot Sangakarra, his overseas record left much to be desired.

  • Uppercut07 on August 12, 2014, 18:13 GMT

    the legend who decimated Harbajan Singh.... held the record for most runs against a spinner... until Sanga took it away recently(against Ajmal).....Mahela the King of Dust bowls.... enough said...

  • Rajesh_india_1990 on August 12, 2014, 18:11 GMT

    what a flat track legend...

  • on August 12, 2014, 18:11 GMT

    @wapuser: I am also a big fan of Mahela but calling him "Bradman of our time" is wrong. Mahela is a class batsman with good timing, can find gaps on his will, can place the ball wherever he wants, can effortlessly hit 4s & 6s and has an excellent ability to manipulate the field but his test record outside Asia is not that good. Yet I would say he is the most classy & stylish batsman of the current ERA.

  • KingOwl on August 12, 2014, 18:03 GMT

    I think his unique contribution to cricket is to show that with finesse and touch, you can still be hugely successful in all forms of cricket, in this era of power players. SL will miss Mahela no doubt, if not as a pure batsman, then certainly as a perfect team man.

  • Kushal.Veerarathne on August 12, 2014, 17:55 GMT

    What a great legend who averages great in SSC, Columbo and averages mere 30s in overseas and againt all big teams and in ODIs ... Indeed a legend !!!

  • on August 12, 2014, 17:40 GMT

    Pls mahela...stay in test cricket for one year.....

  • on August 12, 2014, 17:37 GMT

    colombo track legend is far better than indian cement legend... colombo track legend brought pride to the land.... we sri lankanz love n admire our players n world class other players for thiers services likes od sachin kalis n ponting....

  • on August 12, 2014, 17:32 GMT

    Sad to see him leave cricket. His every shot is an expression indeed, not a mere mechanical attempt to hit the ball to score runs.

  • on August 12, 2014, 17:28 GMT

    Classical Bradman of our time.

  • Rajesh_india_1990 on August 12, 2014, 17:17 GMT

    Colombo track legend.....

  • on August 12, 2014, 17:12 GMT

    I feel he is one cricketer who has talent more than he performed. He should have played Test cricket better than his stats.

  • on August 12, 2014, 17:12 GMT

    Beautiful article. Excellent, well written. Oh, what a tribute to a masterclass batsman !!!! Enjoyed Jayawardene's delightful and aesthetic strokeplay for 15 years. Very sad that he is done. Andrew Fidel Fernando, thank you once again for the fabulous article. You absolutely echoed my feelings about Mahela Jayawardene.

  • timeless_steel on August 12, 2014, 17:08 GMT

    'Master of silken savagery' hitting the very right note here, well written Andrew Fidel!

    As a cricket fan have always admired watching Jayawardene bat. He is a delight to watch because he is beautifully creative and masterly artistic in his approach and has the ability to keep the scoreboard ticking. You can set any field for him and he will find a way out to score 9 out of 10 times. His century against India in WC Finals 2011 is one among stand out innings which i shall distinctly remember.

  • timeless_steel on August 12, 2014, 17:08 GMT

    'Master of silken savagery' hitting the very right note here, well written Andrew Fidel!

    As a cricket fan have always admired watching Jayawardene bat. He is a delight to watch because he is beautifully creative and masterly artistic in his approach and has the ability to keep the scoreboard ticking. You can set any field for him and he will find a way out to score 9 out of 10 times. His century against India in WC Finals 2011 is one among stand out innings which i shall distinctly remember.

  • on August 12, 2014, 17:12 GMT

    Beautiful article. Excellent, well written. Oh, what a tribute to a masterclass batsman !!!! Enjoyed Jayawardene's delightful and aesthetic strokeplay for 15 years. Very sad that he is done. Andrew Fidel Fernando, thank you once again for the fabulous article. You absolutely echoed my feelings about Mahela Jayawardene.

  • on August 12, 2014, 17:12 GMT

    I feel he is one cricketer who has talent more than he performed. He should have played Test cricket better than his stats.

  • Rajesh_india_1990 on August 12, 2014, 17:17 GMT

    Colombo track legend.....

  • on August 12, 2014, 17:28 GMT

    Classical Bradman of our time.

  • on August 12, 2014, 17:32 GMT

    Sad to see him leave cricket. His every shot is an expression indeed, not a mere mechanical attempt to hit the ball to score runs.

  • on August 12, 2014, 17:37 GMT

    colombo track legend is far better than indian cement legend... colombo track legend brought pride to the land.... we sri lankanz love n admire our players n world class other players for thiers services likes od sachin kalis n ponting....

  • on August 12, 2014, 17:40 GMT

    Pls mahela...stay in test cricket for one year.....

  • Kushal.Veerarathne on August 12, 2014, 17:55 GMT

    What a great legend who averages great in SSC, Columbo and averages mere 30s in overseas and againt all big teams and in ODIs ... Indeed a legend !!!

  • KingOwl on August 12, 2014, 18:03 GMT

    I think his unique contribution to cricket is to show that with finesse and touch, you can still be hugely successful in all forms of cricket, in this era of power players. SL will miss Mahela no doubt, if not as a pure batsman, then certainly as a perfect team man.