Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Not long ago, though, Jayasuriya was too old and too out of form to be playing the young man's game of limited-overs cricket. When he was dropped for the West Indies ODIs earlier this year, he had gone 20 innings without having scored a half-century. "Due respect to selectors too, because when they dropped him he wasn't in form; he wasn't scoring runs," Jayawardene said. "They had to look at the future too."
Despite his replacements not doing well, Sri Lanka chose to persist with them. The selectors had picked a squad - excluding Jayasuriya - for the Asia Cup as well, but a not-so-happy sports minister delayed in ratifying it, in which time Jayasuriya made his case with a sizzling century for the Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League. The result: he won back his place.
He chose the perfect day to score his first century on return to the national side - the day he turned 39.
Some of his team-mates hadn't even made it to primary school when Jayasuriya had made his debut. "He doesn't surprise me. I have been lucky to have him; his attitude is the same, he hasn't changed." It's just as well that Jayasuriya doesn't change, as 52 days from now he can have a go at another record: become the oldest man to score an ODI century. Are we being greedy if we ask the oldest centurion to score one that challenges the fastest one too?
- Writes Sidharth Monga in an article titled 'Records don't awe ageless Jayasuriya' for Cricinfo.