Mahela Jayawardene © AFP
Mahela Jayawardene completed his Test career with 149 Test matches scoring 11,814 runs © AFP

 

Aug 18, 2014

Mahela Jayawardene bowed out on a high in his final Test for Sri Lanka with a victory over Pakistan. It was a festive atmosphere all around Lanka especially in Colombo where the match was specially hosted for Jayawardene to end his Test career on home ground. After the win, Jayawardene was chaired around the ground by his teammates and got a Guard of Honour from the students of Nalanda school where Jayawardene once studied and learnt his cricket from. Below are some excerpts from Jayawardene’s farewell speech thanking for everyone for a memorable career. In Photos: Highlights of Jayawardene’s Test career

“I don’t know what to say, but I promise I won’t cry,” Jayawardene said at the presentation ceremony as firecrackers went off in the stands.

“First of all, let me thank the team, for the magnificent effort on the field, in Galle and in Colombo. A great team effort. Very proud of the way the boys have handled thesmelves the last two three-weeks and throughout this year. Let me thank the Pakistani boys, they’ve been brilliant, great sportsmanship. They’ve played some really good cricket and they’ve been great ambassadors. Looking forward to the One-Dayers. I really enjoyed playing with you guys, cheers.

“Where can I start. I’ve few people to thank. First, my coach Lionel Mendis, who has been coaching me since I was seven. All my school coaches and past cricketers who have helped me be the person I am, thank you very very much. Let me take this opportunity to thank my school Nalanda for the great support. They’ve always been behind me for whatever I did. And to SSC to the club, they have looked after me since I was a teenager and for guiding me throughout the career.”

“Let me thank Sri Lankan cricket for giving me this opportunity, helping me with my career and the farewell they’ve given to me. And a thanks his excellency the President for coming here and all the fans. thank you for coming in big numbers.”

“I love you all, thank you for all the support. “I love you all. Thank you so much for the support all these years. I still have a little bit left and I promise I’ll give it my all for the World Cup. Finally, Thank you to my parents who have been there for me from day one and to my family and friends for being a strength to me throughout these over the years. Charlie [Austin], my manager, thank you for all the help. And obviously to my lovely wife who has gone through a lot with the little one. There have been good times and bad times, but it has been great.” The little one, of course, was sleeping in bliss. Some day she will be recounting the fact that she was at her father’s farewell.

“Finally thank you the boys. Sanga, mate you’ve little bit left. It’s been great to play for Sri Lanka. I have always worn this cap with pride and passion.”

Full Video of Mahela Jayawardene’s Test retirement below:

Complete coverage of Mahela Jayawardene’s retirement from Test cricket

(Abhijit Banare is a reporter at CricketCountry. He is an avid quizzer and loves to analyse and dig out interesting facts which allows him to learn something new every day. Apart from cricket he also likes to keep a sharp eye on Indian politics, and can be followed on Twitter and blog)