There is no doubting the fact that Sanath Jayasuriya is a legend of Sri Lankan cricket. That would have been the case if he retired five years ago and it would be the case if he retired now.
However, the 40-year-old has no such plans as he looks set to enhance his place in Sri Lankan cricket history by playing on for at least a couple more years.
Jayasuriya is already the oldest international cricketer to be playing the game today, but has now revealed that he wants to be in with a chance of taking part in the 2011 World Cup.
Speaking about his plans for the future, the opening batsman said that ‘age is not a problem’ for him because it is ‘how you stay mentally and physically fit to remain on the top of your game’.
Jayasuriya is obviously both of these at the moment and this is why he is still able to perform at the top level. In the recent World Twenty20 for example, he produced a couple of blistering innings for Sri Lanka that proved there are still plenty of runs in him yet.
He even opened the bowling with his left-arm spinners in a couple of games, so he is still performing a valuable role for Kumar Sangakkara and the Sri Lankan team.
Despite retiring from test matches in 2007, he has continued to shine for the One Day International and Twenty20 sides and has been a very reliable run scorer in this time.
Jayasuriya is more than just a world-class cricketer though. He is a model professional and one that many young Sri Lankan cricketers can look up to.
It wouldn’t be at all surprising if he takes up a coaching role with the squad once he eventually calls time on his playing days. This way, he can continue to have an impact on Sri Lankan cricket for many years to come.