Jayasuriya quits as Sri Lankan captain
Published: Sunday, March 23, 2003, 3:42 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2001
Distressed Jayasuriya offers to step down
Colombo: Sri Lankan captain Sanath Jayasuriya has quit as captain of the national side, he announced over state television on Saturday. "I have tendered my resignation to the Minister Of Sports Johnston Fernando. With my decision I have given the selectors to opt for a new captain with the 2007 World Cup in mind," Jayasuriya said. Sanath Jayasuriya and the Sri Lankan team returned home on Friday after an unsuccessful run in the World Cup in South Africa. The team was knocked out in the semi final on Tuesday by cup favourites Australia. Jayasuriya took over the helm of the Sri Lankan team after its disastrous show in the 1999 World Cup, held in England. Sri Lanka, defending champion in 1999, ended that tournament on a dismal note after failing to reach the Super Six stage of the competition. Jayasuriya succeeded Arjuna Ranatunga as part of the then policy of the national selectors to infuse new blood into the team. He led his country without break until his resignation on Saturday. There was no immediate response from the Fernando. The Sports Minister was quoted in the state-owned 'Daily News' on Saturday as having asked Jayasuriya to continue in the captaincy despite Sri Lanka's failure in the World Cup.