Sanath Jayasuriya - The Man, the Legend, the Maestro!!
A place for all fans of the Master Blaster from Sri Lanka!!! Just our little way of saluting the greatest all rounder Sri Lanka has ever produced.
How the current bunch of national cricket selectors led by Asantha de Mel pumped up enough courage to strike off the name of indestructible Sanath Jayasuriya from the touring party to Bangladesh would remain one of the greatest cricketing mysteries of the twenty first century.
On and off the general news line Jayasuriya was indestructible in its true sense. At the age of 40 years and 187 days up to date the man who was partly responsible for the Lankan’s wresting the 1996 cricket World Cup played in our own backyard after he was given an open ticket for mayhem along with Romesh Kaluwitharana by the then hierarchy that comprised coach Davnell Whatmore, manager Duleep Mendis, captain Arjuna Ranatunga and vice captain Aravinda de Silva forming the nucleus of it.
Along with Jayasuriya another man who is missing his plane ticket is master-of-the-track Muttiah Muralitharan - sidelined with an injured finger.
Mel and co have suddenly woken up from their slumber
In the same tone another missing link will be former skipper Mahela Jayawardena who is also side-lined with a groin injury or whatever it is.
In one way it is rather funny to think of a Sri Lankan cricket combination taking wing for a tournament sans this threesome, but, barring injury or not it was high time that the selectors got into their proper armour and began to think like a proper unit doing their job for what they are paid for.
While discussing the courageous dropping of Jayasuriya another colleague of mine simplified the whole issue. He said “going down the order was his last trial. Anyway with that inept performance I think he dropped himself than the selectors doing it.”
The most intriguing part of this episode is that both Jayasuriya and Chaminda Vaas were spoken to by the selectors on their stretching years and both cricketers opted to give up Test cricket and continue with the shorter versions of the game.
Ironically Vass’ career stretched only until he captured his 400th ODI wicket, but, weaning Sanath kept on moving from one unprofitable innings to the other.
No doubt Sanath, Murali and Vaas along with Aravinda de Silva are four of the greatest cricketers Sri Lanka has ever produced, and the likes of them may not grace the Lankan turf in a hurry.
Yes, in the past there were performers who took the visiting teams by storm, but, the pressure that the visiting team put on those cricketers who were indulging in a whistle stop game would have never been the same when Vaas was taking his ODI hat-trick or when Aravinda de Silva was plundering the Australian attack in the Cricket World Cup final.
Then one asks as to why Jayasuriya was kept in the side until he could not perform anymore? Today when Sri Lanka is in a crisis no one will ever say why they can’t bring Sanath back. But, I was surprised the other day when an irate fan exasperated “Oh wish they had taken Vaas on this tour at least he had the knack of going one up almost in every innings? But, I felt the selectors had shown mercy on that great left arm medium pacer and gone rather wicked on the great allrounder Sanath Jayasuriya who was demoted to a bowling allrounder from one of the best opening batsmen who reshaped the strategies of ODI cricket for all time.
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