Jayasuriya: Fit enough for international cricket

Sanath Jayasuriya has not announced retirement from One-Day International cricket Getty Images

By Mona Parthsarathi

New Delhi: Jun 8, 2011

Sri Lankan all-rounder Sanath Jayasuriya said that he is fit enough to play international cricket and is waiting for an opportunity to play in the ODI series against England later this month.

With opener Upul Tharanga unlikely to be considered for selection after being embroiled in an alleged doping scandal, Jayasuriya looks to be the most likely option to open the innings.

“Definitely I want to play for my country. That is why I have not announced retirement from One-day cricket till date.

To play for Sri Lanka has always been my priority,” Jayasuriya told PTI Bhasha today.

“If any such offer comes my way, I would like to grab it for sure,” the 41-year-old added.

Sri Lanka, currently playing a Test series in England, are scheduled to play a lone T20 match in Bristol on June 25 followed by five One-dayers from June 28 to July 9.

Jayasuriya, who had announced retirement from Test cricket in 2007 and played his last ODI in December 2009 against India, believed the break would not affect his form and fitness. .

“I have been away from the game for eight or nine months hardly. I had played T20 world championship, domestic cricket, trial matches before ODI World Cup and IPL. I was not away from the game. I am fit enough to play international cricket,” said the veteran, who will be celebrating his 42nd birthday on June 30.

“I am not talking about my future now. The series against England is in my radar as of now,” said Jayasuriya, who is the only player to have scored in excess of 13,000 runs and capture more than 300 wickets in One-day Internationals.

The Matara Marauder also does not intend to change his style of play.

“I have never changed my style. I am playing the way I used to play 20 years back. I will keep doing that in future also,” he said.

In 2008, his ODI career was as good as over when he was omitted for a series in the West Indies.

However, a stirring performance in the IPL in which he tallied 514 runs, forced Sri Lanka’s sports minister to intervene in team selection for the Asia Cup.

Jayasuriya’s selection proved to be beneficial for the team as he made useful contributions, including scoring a century in the title clash in Sri Lanka’s triumphant campaign.