Prasanna glad to be back in the thick of things

By Staff Writers | May 7, 2012

Prasanna Jayawardene is glad to be back in the side.Prasanna Jayawardene expressed his relief over recovering from the groin injury he suffered during the Test series against Pakistan last year and getting back into the Sri Lankan Test side.

Jayawardene scored a match-saving century against Pakistan in the first Test in Abu Dhabi last October but a groin injury forced him out of the remainder of the series and Sri Lanka's tour of South Africa later that year.

The 32-year-old underwent surgery during his time away from cricket and said that his injury could not have come at a more inopportune moment.

"It's 12 years since I started representing the national side. During that period playing for the national side or even the A side did not come easily to me. It took dedication and hard work to achieve it. What I built with such effort seemed to slip out of my hand and it appeared unfair to me," Jayawardene told The Nation.

"My being out of the team on grounds of ability was bearable. But having to sacrifice everything due to injury, at a time I was doing well, left me feeling a bit depressed."

Just prior to his injury, Jayawardene was in scintillating form with the bat. He won the man of the series award at the end of the Test series in England, where he averaged 54.00 and stroked a fine century on a seamer-friendly surface in Cardiff. Jayawardene then followed that up with a century in his very next Test series before being sidelined due to injury.

"It was in 2000 that I first played in a Test for the national side. Thereafter, for six years I was a reserve for most of the time, playing about six games in those six years," Jayawardene said.

"But I was not badly affected. I believed in myself. I knew I could stabilise my position.

"Just as expected, I got the opportunity in 2006 to play in the Test side as a wicket-keeper/batsman. With that, I proved my ability and gave it my best shot and [I] hope to continue to give my best as long as I remain with the team."

Jayawardene took over wicket-keeping duties from Kumar Sangakkara in the five-day format to allow the latter the opportunity to focus solely on his batting, which has helped Sri Lanka get the best out of Sangakkara with the bat.

However, Jayawardene, who Sangakkara considers "the best wicket-keeper in the world", has been a revelation with the willow in his hands.

© Island Cricket

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