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‘If Arjuna was the captain he would have given me confidence’ – Jayasuriya

December 26th, 2009 marks 20 years of international cricket for Sanath Jayasuriya. He made his international debut against Australia at Melbourne on December 26, 1989.

The 40 year old Lankan legend spoke with Cricinfo’s Nagraj Gollapudi about his humble beginnings, his tough rise to the top, and his present loss of form.

In a move to perhaps send a message to his current skipper, Jayasuriya touched twice on Ranatunga’s captaincy.

First when he mentioned Kaluwitharana’s loss of form, "I remember he [Kaluwitharana] failed for 20 innings once, but Arjuna gave him the chance, knowing he was a match-winner," Jayasuriya told Cricinfo.

Later, as an example, he spoke of how Arjuna Ranatunga would deal with his recent miserable streak with the bat.

"I am going through a lean patch right now. If Arjuna was the captain he would have given me confidence. He understood I am an attacking player and so there is always a chance of failing. If the player doesn’t find support, he will find it difficult to perform. It is important for the management to give the player that confidence."

Sanath JayasuriyaJayasuriya recalled how Ranatunga’s firm faith in him, despite a series of bad performances, had helped him score a Test match winning double hundred in England in 1998.

It’s no secret that In recent times Sanath Jayasuriya has struggled with the bat. But other prominent top order batsmen, whose role in the team requires less risk, have failed just as often.

After Jayasuriya failed in the first ODI against India, Kumar Sangakkara chose to drop Jayasuriya for the following match.

"All our guys accept the fact that you got to perform to stay in the side," Sangakkara quipped when asked about Jayasuriya’s omission.

However, just two months ago, in September 2009, when Jayasuriya and Dilshan were pummeling the West Indies at the ICC World Twenty20 Championships, Sangakkara told the media that Jayasuriya could play as long as he wanted to.

Here’s a quote from CricketNext.com,

"He’s a match winner and as long as he’s fit and willing to play for us, we are happy to have him. He’ll be 40 soon. The decision is finally his."

In the end the decision was not really his, and from his recent interview with Cricinfo it appears that Jayasuriya hasn’t taken his omission from the side too well either.

So, what do you reckon? Should Jayasuriya retire? Vote on our poll by clicking the link below:

Is it time for Sanath Jayasuriya to retire?

*Click image for photo credits.

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