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Rediff.com  » Sports » Jayasuriya wants 2011 World Cup as his swansong

Jayasuriya wants 2011 World Cup as his swansong

May 10, 2010 19:42 IST

Already retired from Test cricket, Sri Lankan opening batsman Sanath Jayasuriya hopes to play in next year's World Cup in the subcontinent before ending his illustrious international career. 

Jayasuriya, who was recently elected to the Sri Lankan Parliament, is uncertain whether he would continue beyond this year but said he would want to play in the World Cup, to be co-hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh early next year.

"I had retired from Test matches. Now, I only want to play 50-over and 20-over cricket. My key, at the end of this year, is to assess my international career overall, but I am going along, tour by tour, for now," Jayasuriya, who will turn 41 next month, said.

"That (50-over World Cup) has been in the back of my mind. If I perform, I could be selected. I would dearly love to play to the 2011 Cricket World Cup, to finish up my career," said Jayasuriya who began his international career in 1989.

Jayasuriya, the most capped ODI player in the world with 444 matches against his name, said the 1996 World Cup triumph was the best moment in his career. 

"Certainly ICC World Cup 1996 victory for Sri Lanka was the greatest highlight and will always be remembered. Nobody thought that we could play such good cricket. Only after we had won that competition did our players get continuing opportunities to play more Tests, county cricket and go overseas," said the 'Marauder from Matara' who has 13428 runs and 322 wickets in ODIs against his name.

Jayasuriya shone as an opener in that showpiece event and he said it had changed his career. 

"My approach to batting changed just before the 1996 World Cup. It changed my career. Romesh (Kaluwitharana) and myself were promoted to give us a good start. It worked. Since then, I have been opening in every version of the game, especially the one-dayers, for about 12 years," he told Trinidad Guardian

Asked about any possibility of a Test return, Jayasuriya, who had scored 6973 runs from 110 matches, said: "Look, I am extremely lucky, happy and honoured to have played so much and so well for my country. I know that I helped change what an opening batsman is supposed to be."     

Asked about his athleticism on the field, exhibited in the ongoing Twenty20 World Cup, despite his age, Jayasuriya said: "I do exactly the work that the others do, then do some more. I never do anything loose. I need to be fit, as whatever you are doing, you need to be running from the very first ball, to the end of a T20 game."

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