Home > News >

Mahela Jayawardene: Facing Wasim Akram was tough

1-Mahela-Jayawardena-of-Sri-Lanka-celebrates-reaching-his-half-century-during-day-three-of-1st-Investec-Test-match-between-E
Mahela Jayawardene was one of the few players in the team to have faced legends such as Wasim Akram, Courtney Walsh, etc. © AFP

By Amit Banerjee

Aug 18, 2014

Mahela Jayawardene described his experience of facing Wasim Akram as one of the most memorable and toughest in his seventeen-year career. In a post-match interview with Australian cricketer-turned-commentator, he was reminiscent of some of the key moments and phases of his illustrious career, which came to a close Sri Lanka defeated Pakistan in the second and final Test at the Sinhalese Sports Club, one of Jayawardene’s favourite grounds.

“I was fortunate to play cricket with various generations of cricketers. Facing Wasim Akram was tough. He had the pace and variety and could outthink batsmen. I was a bunny of Akram early in my career. It was equally challenging against Glenn MacGrath and Warnie [Shane Warne],” recalled Jayawardene. The former Sri Lankan captain was dismissed five times in six Tests by the man known as the ‘Sultan of Swing’ .

The early years of Jayawardene’s playing career was marked by the presence of legendary bowling pairs such as Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis from Pakistan, Courtney Walsh and Curtley Ambrose from West Indies, Allan Donald and Shaun Pollock from South Africa among several others. Jayawardene also acknowledged the contributions of the contemporary bowlers. “Off late, guys like Jimmy Anderson,  [Graeme] Swann, Anil Kumble, Daniel Vettori all these guys were fantastic to face. Sometimes you come out good sometimes you don’t. That’s part of cricket,” he was quoted as saying.

Jayawardene had announced his retirement from Test cricket on 14th July before the start of the the Test series against South Africa. His final Test against Pakistan at the SSC, which happens to be his home ground, was a fitting farewell as his team defeated Pakistan by 105 runs and won the series 2-0. The retirement party was made even more memorable with the presence of the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajpaksa, his parents and wife as well as the students and alumni of Nalanda College, his alma mater. He was carried around the ground in a lap of honour on the shoulders of Chanaka Welegedera and Dhammika Prasad and was given several mementos during the post match presentation.

Complete coverage of Mahela Jayawardene’s retirement from Test cricket

Complete coverage of Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka 2014

(Amit Banerjee, a reporter at CricketCountry, takes keen interest in photography, traveling, technology, automobiles, food and, of course, cricket. He can be followed on Twitter via his handle @akb287)

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 20, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Kolkata

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Dubai

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at Cuttack

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 24, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Mount Maunganui

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014 (09:30 IST)   at Dhaka

More

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 21, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 6 wkts

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 17, 2014  at Dharamsala

India won by 59 runs

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 14, 2014  at Visakhapatnam

Match cancelled

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 12, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Australia won by 1 run

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 11, 2014  at Delhi

India won by 48 runs

Photos

Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test at Dubai

Videos

AB de Villiers praises team after win in 1st ODI

Live Cricket Score Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test at Dubai Day 2: Warner and Rogers put on fifth century parternship

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Mitchell Johnson shows signs of effectiveness on unhelpful surfaces

Younis Khan: First Pakistani and 12th overall to score a century against all 9 Test nations

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 India New Zealand New Zealand vs South Africa New Zealand vs South Africa 2014 Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Africa South Africa tour of New Zealand 2014 South Africa vs New Zealand South Africa vs New Zealand 2014

David Warner half-century guides Australia to 113/0 against Pakistan on Day 2 of 1st Test

Sachin Tendulkar wishes fans on Diwali

New Zealand vs South Africa, 2nd ODI at Mt Maunganui Preview: Hosts look to draw level to stay alive

IPL 2013 spot-fixing and betting controversy: Mudgal committee may have evidence against Gurunath Meiyappan

Jonathan Trott signs new deal with Warwickshire

Viv Richards’ 6/41 bowls West Indies to a thrilling victory over India

Asad Shafiq emerges as dependable No 6 for Pakistan

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Mitchell Johnson shows signs of effectiveness on unhelpful surfaces

Joginder Sharma: When an over eclipses a career

South Africa vs New Zealand 2014: Vital for Brendon McCullum to find form quickly

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

642 Posts | 9 Fans

Virat Kohli's Family Meets Anushka Sharma

अभिनेत्री हुमा कुरैशी ओरिफ्लेम की ब्रांड एंबेसडर

Has Bigg Boss 8 made Karishma Tanna the most hated person?

Pranab Mukherjee returns home after visit to Norway, Finland

Revealed: First look of Amitabh Bachchan-Farhan Akhtar’s Do!

7 reasons why having sex during pregnancy is great for your health

Videocon Infinium Graphite with gesture control feature launched, priced at Rs 10,499

Rupee up 19 paise against dollar in early trade

Twitter introduces Audio Cards to listen to music directly from your timeline

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here