Mahela Jayawardene © Getty Images
Mahela Jayawardene © Getty Images

 

Jul 14, 2014

 

Sri Lanka veteran Mahela Jayawardene has announced that he will be retiring from Test cricket after series against South Africa and Pakistan. The island nation takes on South Africa in a two-match Test series starting Wednesday.

 

In a letter to the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) chief executive Ashley de Silva, Jayawardene said, “It was not an easy decision to make given that it has been a great privilege and honour representing my country during the past 18 years, but I believe this is the right time”.

 

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka skipper Angelo Mathews hopes his side will be able to carry on their good run in this year, as they take on South Africa in a two-match home Test series starting on Wednesday. Mathews’s personal form has improved since taking charge of the team last February — and with the ever-dependable Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara alongside him, the home team are a strong outfit.

 

“We normally do perform well under pressure. It’s just a matter of absorbing it,” said Mathews. “We’ve done pretty well in the past six months and I hope the team will continue to do so,” the 27-year-old added.

 

The veteran batsman will play two Tests against South Africa on July 16 and July 24, respectively, followed by a two-match series against Pakistan in August. Jayawardene, though, added that he was fully committed to represent the country in the one-dayers.

 

This would mean that Sri Lanka will not miss him during the World Cup 2015 to be hosted jointly by Australia and New Zealand. Jayawardene, who made his Test debut against India in 1997, played 145 Tests scoring 11493 runs with 33 centuries and 48 fifties.

 

Jayawardene (22 and 79 runs) recently made his presence felt in a 100-run win against England at Headingley to give Sri Lanka their first Test series victory — the Islanders won the two-match series 1-0 — on English soil. The Colombo-born player also made a vital 24-run contribution in his final Twenty20 appearance against India in the World Cup final in Mirpur on April 6.

 

(With inputs from PTI)

 

Complete coverage of Mahela Jayawardene’s retirement from Test cricket