हिन्दीಕನ್ನಡമലയാളംதமிழ்తెలుగు

It would be nice to open with Sachin: Jayasuriya

Published: Thursday, April 10, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
 
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Mumbai: Sri Lankan star Sanath Jayasuriya today said it would be a great moment in his career to open with Sachin Tendulkar, the best batsman in the world.

''I am really happy to open with him and I am looking forward to this opportunity,'' Jayasuriya told mediapersons over a teleconference from Sri Lanka today.

The inaugural DLF Indian Premier League kicks off in Bangalore on April 18.

Jayasuriya, who is currently out of the Sri Lankan team, said he was eager to use the IPL with good performances for the Mumbai Indians and stake a claim for a berth in the national team.

The swashbuckling opener said, ''I am looking forward to playing in the tournament and helping Mumbai Indians win the title.'' ''I met Sachin in Hobart during the one-day series in Australia and discussed the IPL. I always love to play for my country, but this is different with all teams having a mixture of players from various countries. I will give my best for Mumbai Indians,'' former Sri Lanka captain said.

Jayasuriya also said the Mumbai Indians have a strong team as apart from himself and Tendulkar, the team has retired South African all-rounder Shaun Pollock, Dilhara Fernando and young Indian batsman Robin Uthappa.

''We have quite a few good players in Pollock, Uthappa, Loots Bosman (of South Africa). It's going to be exciting as we would be playing against other Sri Lankan players like Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Lasith Malinga and Muthiah Muralitharan,'' Jayasuriya said.

The 38-year-old marauder from Matara in Sri Lanka said, ''Twenty20 may be a young man's game but I have worked hard. I will try and make sure Mumbai Indians win the title.'' The veteran, who played a crucial role in his country winning the 1996 World Cup, did not favour a blanket ban on sledging as being demanded by the Indian cricket board, but wanted the umpires to take a more active role to keep it in check.

''We are all humans and you cannot stop the chatter between rival players completely. You have to handle it carefully and the umpires are there for this purpose,'' he said.

Jayasuriya, whose record of 411 ODIs has since been overtaken by Tendulkar, was disappointed that Sri Lanka could not clinch the recent Test series in West Indies.

''We played pretty well in Guyana but could not win the series as we lost the second Test in Trinidad. Four early wickets cost us dear and this is an area we need to look into,'' he observed.

The injury-prone Fernando, expected to open the Mumbai Indians attack with Pollock, who was also present at the teleconference told reporters that it was great to play with Tendulkar and the other top players.

''It's great to play with Sachin and other international players.

I have almost recovered fully from the injury. I can do a lot for Mumbai Indians,'' he added.

UNI

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