Home > News >

Mahela Jayawardene: Gut feeling prompted to quit Test cricket

Mahela Jayawardene retired from Test cricket with the end of Sri Lanka-Pakistan Test series © AFP
Mahela Jayawardene retired from Test cricket with the end of Sri Lanka-Pakistan Test series © AFP

Colombo: Aug 18, 2014

Mahela Jayawardene on Monday said a “gut feeling” prompted him to quit Test cricket as he turned his attention to one last World Cup campaign after near-misses in 2007 and 2011. The modest former Test captain, one of only five batsmen to top 11,000 runs in both Test and one-day cricket, bowed out after Sri Lanka sealed a 2-0 Test series win over Pakistan.

“Players come and go, but the game continues,” the 37-year-old said, after ending a 17-year Test career in which he became one of the great batsmen of modern times.

Jayawardene was hoisted onto his team-mates’ shoulders and warmly congratulated by Sri Lanka’s president after ending his Test career at Colombo’s Sinhalese Sports Club stadium. It was a fitting place for his farewell after he shared in a record 624 Test partnership with Kumar Sangakkara there in 2006 and amassed 2,921 Test runs at the venue — the most by any batsman at a single ground.

Jayawardene, who retired from Twenty20 internationals after Sri Lanka became world champions in April, said he would concentrate on one-day matches until next year’s World Cup.

“I am not sure I will be selected for the World Cup, but I will focus on one-day cricket,” said Jayawardene ahead of the one-day series against Pakistan starting this week.

Jaywardene was captain when Sri Lanka made the World Cup final in 2007, losing to Australia. He also scored a century in the final of the 2011 edition won by India. He said Sri Lanka, who won the World Cup in 1996, would prosper without him — as it had done after the Test retirement of world bowling record-holder Muttiah Muralitharan in 2010.

“When Murali retired, people said we won’t win without him,” the former captain said. “But we are still doing well. There are others who will do even better than us.”

Jayawardene added that he felt he had quit at the right time despite still showing good form with the bat.

“I took the decision to retire after a lot of serious thought,” he said. “I was fortunate to have played for 17 years so it was not an easy decision to make. But I think the time was right to go. It was a gut feeling and I have always gone by my gut feelings in the past. We do not have many Tests for a year now. I have played enough and it is time for the younger players to take over.

“I have very pleasant memories of my career. I enjoyed this phase of my life, I learnt a lot and good things entered my life. I cherish every moment of it.” Jayawardene finished with 11,814 runs in 149 Tests with 34 centuries, but his average dropped from 50.02 to 49.84 after making four and 54 in his final Test against Pakistan.

Jayawardene said retiring one Test short of his 150th appearance did not matter to him. He also said he was not interested in becoming a coach.

“To be a coach, one needs a lot of commitment and I don’t think I have the patience for that… But I will continue to guide young players because they are the future of the game in the country,” he said.

Complete coverage of Mahela Jayawardene’s retirement from Test cricket

World T20 League 2014

Sep 20, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Mohali

World T20 League 2014

Sep 20, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Mohali

World T20 League 2014

Sep 21, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

World T20 League 2014

Sep 21, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

World T20 League 2014

Sep 22, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Bengaluru

More

World T20 League 2014

Sep 19, 2014  at Raipur

NK won by 33 runs (D/L method)

World T20 League 2014

Sep 18, 2014  at Mohali

Kings XI Punjab won by 5 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 17, 2014  at Hyderabad

Kolkata Knight Riders won by 3 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 16, 2014  at Raipur

Northern Knights won by 6 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 16, 2014  at Raipur

Lahore Lions won by 55 runs

Photos

CSK vs KKR, Match 1 CLT20 2014

Videos

Anderson plays golf with Jaguar competition winners

Pakistan selectors thinking of dropping Younis Khan from ODI squad

Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2014: Kane Williamson’s ton for Northern Knights against Cape Cobras proves that T20 isn’t all about slogging

Furious MS Dhoni and CSK check out of Hyderabad hotel following Biryani episode

Herbert Chang: The Jamaican of Chinese origin who wasted his life in South Africa

Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2014: Kings XI Punjab’s batting gets the extra punch with Thisara Perera’s inclusion

Champions League T20 Champions League T20 2014 Chennai Super Kings CLT20 CLT20 2014 CSK vs KKR Hobart Hurricanes Hobart Hurricanes vs Kings XI Punjab Kings XI Punjab Kings XI Punjab vs Hobart Hurricanes KKR vs CSK Kolkata Knight Riders Northern Knights Pakistan

CLT20 2014: We didn’t field well, says Cape Cobras skipper Justin Ontong

Sachin Tendulkar’s 15-a-side idea rejected by Mumbai Cricket Association

Arjun Tendulkar scores 118 off 48 balls in Smaash Master Blaster Tournament

CLT20 2014: KKR take on spirited Lahore Lions

West Indies women defeat New Zealand women by 4 runs in dramatic last-over finish

Don Bradman plays his final innings in England

Kings XI Punjab vs Barbados Tridents, Match 5, CLT20 2014 — Key battles

Dolphins vs Perth Scorchers, Match 4, CLT20 2014 — Key battles

Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) vs Barbados Tridents CLT20 2014 Match 5: KXIP’s likely XI

Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2014: Kane Williamson’s ton for Northern Knights against Cape Cobras proves that T20 isn’t all about slogging

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

669 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) vs Hobart Hurricanes (HH) CLT20 2014

Happy New Year song Lovely: Deepika Padukone sizzles in this seductive number!

Beware, sitting for too long may cause early ageing

#UberMINI: Users in Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore can book a free ride in a MINI today

iPhone 6 launch: Fans queue up across the world

Harsh Vardhan announces November 7 as the National Cancer Awareness Day

Leaked: Salman Khan’s Bigg Boss 8 performance pictures!

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here