Jayasuriya denies President behind Test return
LONDON, May 13, 2006 (AFP) Sanath Jayasuriya has insisted the
President of Sri Lanka played no role in his decision to end his
retirement from Test cricket.
The 36-year-old former Sri Lanka captain, who arrived in England on
Saturday, could only watch from beyond the boundary at Lord's while his
erstwhile team-mates followed-on in the first Test after being bowled
out for just 192 in reply to England's first innings 551 for six
It is less than a month since Jayasuriya said he was quitting Test
cricket in order to concentrate on one-day internationals in the
build-up to next year's World Cup in the Caribbean.
But he insisted his decision to make himself available again for the
five-day game was down to newly-appointed chairman of selectors Asantha
De Mel and not Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
"Asantha de Mel is the chairman of selectors and he was the one who
contacted me," Jayasuriya said.
"He was the one who changed my mind, and after discussions with
various people involved in my career I thought if the team and my
country need me then my services are available," he also told Sky
Jayasuriya said Sri Lanka coach Tom Moody was fully supportive of his
change of heart even though the former Australia international appeared
to have played little role in his decision.
"I had a long discussion with Tom and explained I wanted to return
and he was alright" said Jayasuriya.
"Sanath's obviously had some deep thought about his decision to
retire. If he's fit and back in form, it can't be a bad thing can it?,"
Moody said after Thursday's first day at Lord's.
"He's a devastating player, he has been for Sri Lanka for many, many
years. He's obviously still a very key component to our one-day campaign
and he was due here anyway in two or three weeks' time for the one-dayers.
"Him coming early, the positive is that he's going to get used to
English conditions a little bit earlier for the one-day series if not
Jayasuriya is set to play in Sri Lanka's next match, a four-day game
against Sussex at Hove starting on Thursday.
But he was uncertain if he would play in the second Test of the
three-match series which is due to get underway at Edgbaston on May 25.
"I'm here to play the next tour match and we'll have to see how it
goes from there," Jayasuriya explained.
"I haven't played the longer version of the game for a few months now
and I will need to settle in here because conditions are different."
However, with opener Jehan Mubarak managing just nought and six at
Lord's, Jayasuriya could be back in Test action sooner than he thought.
Jayasuriya has scored 6,613 runs in 102 Tests with 14 centuries. He
is also the fourth batsman to have scored 10,000 runs in one-day
internationals after India's Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly, and