Mahela Jayawardene

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We should not play like Australia or India or England — we should play like Sri Lanka.

Denagamage Proboth Mahela de Silva Jayawardene, known as Mahela Jayawardene (born 27 May 1977), is the former captain of the Sri Lankan cricket team. He is the leading Sri Lankan run scorer in tests, with an average of over 50.00.


A prolific, elegant and utterly classy batsman with a huge appetite for runs, and a calm yet authoritative captain
  • He wants to learn new things and to evolve as a cricketer. What you have to understand is that Joe hasn't played that much T20 cricket, he hasn't had that much experience of playing in the subcontinent, he's still finding his way. So for him to go out in a tough situation [referring to a great game between England and South Africa, where Joe Root's 83 from 44 balls led to an achieved target of 230 to beat South Africa] - probably the situation dictated the way he had to play, started slowly but to keep up with the run rate he had to be innovative. But he just kept his cool, made sure the guys around him do a bit of work as well, so when you look at the bigger concept, he's the guy that England would want to do that kind of role for them in this tournament. [He is a] good all-round cricketer, there are about four-five young good players in this tournament that everyone is going to look out for and he is one of them
  • My role with England is to help develop their cricketers, and to help with how they should approach different challenges - like playing spin. The pools hadn't been decided when I agreed to do it. England didn't hire me to give information on the Sri Lankan team. They have analysts and coaches to do that. I'm quite disappointed to see those comments from the board, to be fair.
    • Jayawardene on criticism from SLC president Thilanga Sumathipala, contending that his ten-day consulting role with England is largely geared toward player development and not toward providing specific tactical information, quoted on ESPN Cricket Info', "Jayawardene brushes off SLC president's criticism", February 27, 2016.
  • There is so much uncertainty in cricket. One day you can get a hundred, the next day you can be dismissed for a zero. It makes you become practical about things. Teaches you to accept both success and failure. I think I have learnt a lot about life from cricket.
  • A prolific, elegant and utterly classy batsman with a huge appetite for runs, and a calm yet authoritative captain - those are the qualities that best describe Mahela Jayawardene. His sheer quality as a batsman was never in doubt even when he just entered the international scene, but for Jayawardene the biggest challenge has been to justify all the early hype. With over 10,000 runs in both Tests and ODIs - and a captaincy stint that included a World Cup final appearance - it can safely be said that he has met that challenge more than adequately. Blessed with excellent hand-eye coordination and a fine technique, Jayawardene scores his runs all around the wicket. Among his favourite strokes are the languid cover-drive - often with minimal footwork but precise placement and timing - and the wristy flick off his legs, but there are several others he plays with equal felicity. The most memorable are the cuts and dabs he plays behind the stumps, mostly off spinners, but also against quick bowling, when bat makes contact with ball delightfully late. Apart from his artistry, what stands out about his batting is his hunger for big scores, most apparent in his record 624-run partnership with Kumar Sangakkara, but also in the regularity with which he notches up Test double-hundreds. And his century against Zimbabwe in the World Twenty20 in 2010 was a shining example of traditional methods succeeding in a new format. Jayawardene is easily one of the most elegant batsmen of his generation, but the major drawback in his career is his relative lack of success in overseas conditions. His averages in Australia, England, South Africa and New Zealand are all less than 35, but at home he averages more than 60. In the second half of his career, Jayawardene grew into an astute captain who read the game well and wasn't afraid to take risks. Under him, Sri Lanka shed their diffident approach, winning Tests in England and New Zealand, and - in what was Jayawardene's greatest achievement as captain - reached the final of the 2007 World Cup. He quit captaincy in February 2009, but agreed to a second stint, taking over from Tillakaratne Dilshan after the tour to South Africa in 2011-12, but resigned again after a year, handing the reins to Angelo Mathews. His limited overs batting has improved with age, and an increasing stroke repertoire has seen Jayawardene become almost as impressive an innovator at the crease, as he is a technician. An unbeaten 103 from 88 balls in the 2011 World Cup final made plain his limited overs prowess, and marked him out as a big-match player, having already made a century in the semi-final of the same tournament four years ago.
    • S Rajesh and ESPNcricinfo staff on Mahela Jayawardene, quoted on ESPN Cricket Info, "Mahela Jayawardene"


  • We had a very good side with an experienced batting lineup and strong variety in our bowling but going into the tournament, it was not the most settled time for Sri Lankan cricket, with some disputes going on. But all of this actually brought us closer together as a team; it made us even more determined to do our job for the supporters and the country. In the end, it was an emotional way for myself and Mahela to sign off from our Twenty20 international careers.

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