Jayawardene on legacy and lifting World T20

Jayawardene on legacy and lifting World T20

Pranta Deb Emon
Published Date: 29 Nov 2015 | Update : 29 Nov 2015
Mahela Jayawardene has urged Sri Lanka’s current group of players to try and better the achievements of his generation. The 38-year-old, who has been working as England’s Batting Consultant on their tour of the United Arab Emirates, called time on a glittering international career after the World Cup in March. Jayawardene amassed 22,959 Test runs at an average of 49.84 and scored a further 17,141 in international limited-overs cricket, helping his country reach the final of two World Cups and three World Twenty20s. “I just hope that I played the game hard and played the game fair,” Jayawardene told ecb.co.uk. “I’ve managed to push myself and push limits and create targets for the rest of the guys to follow. “That’s how I would like to think, rather than calling it a legacy, but I think the important thing for Sri Lankan cricket and for the younger guys is to challenge themselves and go past us, whatever we’ve achieved. “So that is evolving and that is improving Sri Lankan cricket so if they could do that I would be the happiest.” While Jayawardene rates his century in the 2011 World Cup final as his best innings, his 374 against South Africa in 2006 also ranks highly. “Probably the World Cup hundred I scored in 2011, even though it was a losing cause and we lost the match, but I thought I enjoyed that and my plans, execution was quite good in a technical capacity,” he said of his 104 against India. On his mammoth knock versus the Proteas, Jayawardene added: “It’s very rare that kind of thing happens, that’s something that I always will cherish. You don’t plan those things it just happens, and then after that you learn from it, so that was something special.” But while those knocks were special on a personal note, there is little doubt as to the highlight of Jayawardene’s international career – winning the 2014 World T20 . “For us it was a struggle because we lost two 50-over finals and two T20 finals,” he added. “We’ve done a lot of good things as a team and a lot of people have expected us to do well in certain tournaments, which we’ve done well and then come to the finals and haven’t been able to execute a good game plan and we struggled. “For us to finally win the T20 final just gave us that little bit of relief and as a team we breathed a sigh of relief as well because finally we managed to get that monkey off our back. “For a lot of guys I think that T20 final would have been the most memorable one in our careers because it was a great team effort throughout that tournament and for us to finally finish it on a higher note.” While cricket continues to play an integral part in the life of one of the game’s most talented run-scorers, Jayawardene is keen to keep sport in perspective. “For me cricket has taught me a lot of life lessons,” he added. “I’ve enjoyed playing cricket because as a kid you love playing cricket and that’s a passion that I had but at the same time it has given me a lot of good lessons in life about winning, losing, controlling my emotions and taking everything in my stride – the disappointment, the success – and being humble about it. “I realise that cricket is cricket, it’s not the whole picture: you’ve got family, you’ve got other things. It’s been a fantastic ride so far, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it. “To wear that cap and play for Sri Lanka was a very proud moment in my life and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it and to play for those fans was something special.”   source: ECB

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