Jayasuriya to quit all cricket after 2007 WC

Published: Monday, April 3, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Kandy:Sri Lanka's most successful batsman Sanath Jayasuriya has confirmed he will retire from all forms of cricket after the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies.

On Thursday, the 36-year-old left-hander decided to retire from the Test side after the completion of the series with Pakistan, which concludes with a second Test in Kandy stared today.

However, as one of only four batsman to have scored more than 10,000 runs in One-day internationals, Jayasuriya wants to continue playing the short form of the game through to a fifth World Cup appearance next year.

''Not playing Test cricket will help me keep fit and allow me to play on until next year's World Cup,'' Jayasuriya told Reuters yesterday.

''I will definitely retire from all cricket after that tournament.

''We are building a really good side for that tournament and I feel we have a real chance of winning, although we'll have to work extremely hard and perform in all three departments of the game.'' Jayasuriya has admitted that preparations for his final Test have been emotional following his decision to hand over a letter of resignation to the selectors on Friday.

''It is sad having played for so long and having enjoyed so many good times with the team, but I feel my decision is good for Sri Lankan cricket as now is the right time to go,'' he added.

''I had been thinking about it for a while but I made a sudden decision after the first Test, as I felt the time had come for a youngster to be given a chance like I was.

''I am fit and I am still performing the right now is the right time to handover to a player that deserves a chance - I hope the youngster will make use of that.

''The gap between international and domestic cricket in Sri Lanka is very big and they need to have lots of experience to develop properly.''

Jayasuriya made his Test debut against New Zealand in 1991 as a middle-order batsman, but only cemented a place in the team during Sri Lanka's 1995/96 tour to Australia During that tour he was given a chance as an opener and formed a devastating partnership with Romesh Kaluwitharana during the winning 1996 World Cup run, when he was name Player of the Tournament for his blazing strokeplay and canny left-arm spin.

In 1997 he smashed 340 against India on Colombo, still the highest score by a Sri Lankan in Test cricket.

Then in 1999, he took over the captaincy from Arjuna Ranatunga for a successful four-year tenure, leading the side to a record 10 consecutive Test wins in 2001/02.

Jayasuriya has score 6599 runs in 101 Tests at an average of 41.76 with 14 hundreds.

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