"I wanted to intimidate and dominate bowlers" : Sanath Jayasuriya

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PakPassion is delighted to present an exclusive interview with former Sri Lankan all rounder Sanath Jayasuriya.

Jayasuriya made his One Day International debut against Australia at Melbourne on December 26, 1989 and his Test debut against New Zealand at Hamilton in February, 1991. Jayasuriya is the only player to score more than 13,000 runs and capture more than 300 wickets in One Day Internationals and is regarded as one of the best all rounders in the history of Limited overs cricket.

Along with his opening partner Romesh Kaluwitharana, Jayasuriya revolutionized One Day International batting with his aggressive tactics during the 1996 Cricket World Cup, a strategy they first tried on the preceding tour of Australia.

He held the records for the fastest fifty (against Pakistan in 17 balls), fastest 100 (against Pakistan in 48 balls) and fastest 150 (against England in 95 balls) in ODI cricket. Though he lost the fastest 100 to Shahid Afridi and fastest 150 to Shane Watson, he still holds the record for the fastest fifty. Jayasuriya and Sachin Tendulkar are the only players in history to have 4 ODI scores over 150.

He was also named as one of the Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 1997 and served as captain of the Sri Lankan team in 38 Test matches from 1999 to 2003.

Jayasuriya announced his intention to retire from Test cricket following the Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka in April 2006. He reversed his decision soon after, however, joining the Sri Lankan cricket team in England in May 2006. Missing the first two Tests, Jayasuriya returned in the Third Test at Trent Bridge.

After scoring 78 runs on day three of the first Test against England in Kandy in 2007, he announced he was to retire from Test cricket at the end of the match. In that innings he hit six fours in one over against James Anderson.

He also scored 2 centuries and 2 half-centuries in the 2007 Cricket World Cup held in the West Indies. In 2008, his one-day career was all but over when he was omitted for the ODIs in the West Indies. However, a stirring performance in the IPL—finishing the third-highest run-getter with 514 runs—prompted his country's sports minister to intervene in his selection for the Asia Cup. He ultimately shaped Sri Lanka's title victory with a blistering hundred under pressure.

His election as a Member of Parliament in April 2010 and his subsequent failure at the World Twenty20 suggested that his international career may be at an end, but he made the longlist for the 30-man squad for the 2011 World Cup, before being recalled to the one-day side for the series in England two weeks shy of his 42nd birthday.
 
PakPassion.net : Let’s go back to the beginning Sanath. When did you know that cricket was going to be the career of choice for you?

Sanath Jayasuriya : Well when I started playing cricket in Sri Lanka all those years ago, we were all semi-professionals. It was a case of going to work, coming home packing your cricket bag and then either playing cricket or attending practice in the afternoon or weekends.

Back in those days there were no professional cricketers in Sri Lanka so the main source of income was your day to day job. Then in the early 1990s, cricket in Sri Lanka became more professional and that is when a lot of cricketers like I started to play cricket on a full time basis. So in answer to your question, at first cricket was a part time job as it did not pay enough but when it became a full time profession in Sri Lanka in the early 1990s was when I realised that it was going to be my future and I started to practice more and playing more cricket. I realised then that in order to play cricket at the highest level which is what I wanted to, I had to take up the sport on a full time basis.

Back in the early 1990s some private investors would hold local tournaments in Sri Lanka, some of which still go on right up till now and that was one way that the local cricketers could increase their basic earnings which were not a lot back then. All of the cricketers were semi professional then, none of them were full time cricketers.


PakPassion.net : What was your occupation when you first started playing cricket on a part time basis?

Sanath Jayasuriya : I was working in the marketing department of a local bank before I became a full time professional cricketer.


PakPassion.net : You are of course a role model and hero to many around the world, but even a great cricketer like yourself must have had some cricketing role models and heroes?

Sanath Jayasuriya : My cricketing heroes from within Sri Lankan cricket were Aravinda de Silva and Arjuna Ranatunga who were both cricketers that all Sri Lankan cricketers looked up to. They were the faces of Sri Lankan cricket and the big names that all of us looked up to. From outside of Sri Lankan cricket, I admired the West Indian batting duo of Viv Richards and Desmond Haynes.


PakPassion.net : You’ve obviously had some great moments in your career. What would you describe as the greatest moment?

Sanath Jayasuriya : The greatest moment was undoubtedly winning the World Cup in 1996. It was a massive achievement. Winning the world cup in 1996 was a huge achievement for my team mates and I. Not many people gave us a chance to win that tournament really. Of course we had self belief and confidence but we never thought we would win the world cup.

As a team we really developed during the 1996 world cup and our plans and methods really came together in that competition. It was wonderful to be part of such a historic occasion for Sri Lankan cricket and the memories are still fresh in my mind even to this day.


PakPassion.net : There must have been a lot of extra pressure during the 1996 World Cup, playing part of that tournament in front of your own crowds?

Sanath Jayasuriya : Well not many outside the Sri Lankan camp expected us to win the trophy so the pressure was not as intense as it is for the current squad at the World T20. The pressure and expectations grew as the 1996 tournament went on and I’m certain it will be the same for Mahela (Jayawardene) and his squad in the ongoing World T20.

There is no doubt that playing at home brings additional pressure and more expectations, but at the same time, the Sri Lankan players will enjoy playing in their home conditions, playing in front of their own fans who always give them great support. There’s no doubt that any cricketer would rather play in their home conditions than overseas, particularly when it comes to a major tournament like the World T20. There is no better feeling than performing well and winning in front of your countrymen.


PakPassion.net : Do you think that the class of 2012 playing in the World T20 can cope with the expectations and pressure of a home crowd?

Sanath Jayasuriya : Yes I expect Mahela Jayawardene and his team to not succumb to the pressure, rise to the challenge and utilise the home advantage. I’m sure we will see a good display from the Sri Lankans at the World T20.


PakPassion.net : During the 1996 World Cup the world witnessed you opening the batting with the hard hitting Romesh Kaluwitharana. What was it like to open the innings with Romesh and what was the game plan?

Sanath Jayasuriya : Kalu was a fantastic batsman and character. He gave the team a lot of energy and every team needs characters like him especially when things are not going your way. His head would never drop, he was always very positive in whatever he did on the cricket field. In 1996 we brought to the world a new concept of attacking cricket in the early overs of an innings. It was different and it took some teams by surprise. Kalu was just told to go out there and play freely, he was just asked by the captain and coach to go out there and play in an attacking manner. Romesh was comfortable in that role and his confidence rubbed off on the other batsmen also.

From my perspective I also had license from the team management and the captain to play my natural game and I was comfortable with that. We were told not to worry, even if we did not last long in the middle and it worked very well for us.


PakPassion.net : Let’s speak about Arjuna Ranatunga, the former Sri Lankan captain. What was it like to play for Arjuna in the Sri Lankan team?

Sanath Jayasuriya : Arjuna was a totally different kind of cricketer and character. He was a tough character and he was also very supportive of all his team mates which I think is very important for a captain. He always backed all of his players, not just some of his team mates, but all of them. Arjuna had a unique insight into the game of cricket, he would look at match situations in a totally different light to most other cricketers. He was a very passionate cricketer, he knew exactly what he was doing and he knew how to get the best out of his team mates. He had the knack of being able to get every ounce of effort from each of his players and that is a rarity amongst captains.

Arjuna was a great captain and yes sometimes people did not agree with his ideas and methods, but that was up to the individual. Arjuna had his way of doing things and his own way of handling people and it worked well for him.


PakPassion.net : Sometimes Arjuna had the ability to upset the opposition. Was that deliberate and tactical on his part?

Sanath Jayasuriya : He loved to chat with some of the opposition players and “go after them”. He would “probe and poke” the opposition and test them out mentally. He really tested the opposition and it was all part of his methods. He was a tough character and never liked to give in to the opposition.


PakPassion.net : Captaincy in Asian countries isn’t always the easiest of tasks. How did you find the role of captaining Sri Lanka was it something that came naturally to you?

Sanath Jayasuriya : When I got the job it was not easy at all. I took over the captaincy from Arjuna who did things differently to me. It was a tough time for me, there was a lot of pressure taking over from such a big name in Sri Lankan cricket and a World Cup winning captain. I wanted to do things differently to Arjuna and at the same time I needed to perform and expectations were high because Sri Lanka were an established international team then.

The first three months were really tough for me but after that I settled into the role and I think I did well. The players were very supportive and that was very important as without the backing and support of your players there is not a great deal the captain can do. We went onto win ten Test matches in a row, win a lot of one day internationals and we reached the semi finals of the World Cup in South Africa and we did well in the ICC Champions Trophy in Sri Lanka, so we achieved quite a lot and looking back at my stint as captain I’m satisfied with my efforts.


PakPassion.net : During your career you faced some of the game’s finest bowlers. Who is the bowler that stood out for you?

Sanath Jayasuriya : I was lucky enough or some would say unlucky enough to face quite a few world class bowlers. Wasim Akram, Glenn McGrath, Courtney Walsh, Curtley Ambrose, Shane Warne, Waqar Younis. These are the bowlers who I found tough to face. They were all great bowlers in their own right, each with brilliant ability and skills.


PakPassion.net : Any particularly brilliant spells that you recall from the aforementioned?

Sanath Jayasuriya : Wasim Akram bowled several unplayable spells in Pakistan and in Sri Lanka at me and my team mates. He was a bowler who at times had so many deliveries he was spoilt for choice as to which one to bowl. Another great spell against us was by Curtly Ambrose in Sharjah when he bowled 10 overs for 5 runs and bowled 5 maiden overs. Curtly was unplayable that day even on a track that was supposed to favour the batsmen.


PakPassion.net : You’ve mentioned some great bowlers in one of the earlier questions, but at times it seemed that no matter how good the bowlers were they could not restrict your run scoring ability. What was your philosophy when you went out to bat?

Sanath Jayasuriya : It varies from player to player I guess, each batsman thinks differently, prepares differently. My philosophy was simple, If I saw a ball early in my innings that I thought I could hit the ball to the boundary I would go after it. It did not matter whether it was the first ball of a Test match or the last ball of the day. I wanted to intimidate bowlers, to dominate the opposition bowlers, to put them under pressure early and to ensure that it was not the other way around. I always went out to bat with a positive mindset and to play my natural game.

However on some rare occasions when I was not seeing the ball that well I would be cautious to an extent and try to establish myself at the crease. There were occasions when you had to take your time, to settle down at the crease and to assess the situation. It all depended on how well I was seeing the ball.


PakPassion.net : You mention about playing your natural game. Do you think sometimes coaches can over-coach players and take that natural flair and ability out of them?

Sanath Jayasuriya : Yes definitely. I am a firm believer that young cricketers should be allowed to play their natural game and to play to their strengths rather than being told to bat in a certain way or restricted with regards to their bowling.


PakPassion.net : Sri Lanka has over the years produced some wonderful and world class cricketers. How is it that Sri Lanka keeps producing these naturally talented cricketers?

Sanath Jayasuriya : You have to give credit to the schools cricket system. Most of the international players are identified at a very young age in school cricket. Those boys are identified early in their cricket career and earmarked by the coaches as potential international cricketers for Sri Lanka. These talented cricketers in school cricket are the ones who make the big scores, take wickets and they are the ones spotted and then signed up by club teams and then eventually first class teams in Sri Lanka.


PakPassion.net : The Sri Lankan Premier League is a recent addition to the domestic calendar in Sri Lanka, how do you think the tournament will benefit Sri Lankan cricket in future?

Sanath Jayasuriya : The introduction of the Sri Lankan Premier League is a wonderful addition to the domestic calendar in Sri Lanka, particularly for up and coming cricketers in Sri Lanka who are getting an opportunity to play alongside and against international cricketers from around the world. I'm sure the SLPL will help young cricketers in Sri Lanka get identified more easily by the selectors for international cricket as we have seen with Dilshan Munaweera who is in the Sri Lankan squad in the World T20.

The organisers went through a lot of hard work in making the tournament happen and I congratulate them on their efforts. There are always ways to improve such tournaments and I think we will see improvements in the coming years, but as a Sri Lankan I'm really proud of the Sri Lankan Premier League and hope that it continues to be a success in the coming years.


PakPassion.net : You are 43 years young and still playing in tournaments such as the SLPL and the IPL. How much more cricket do you feel you have left in you?

Sanath Jayasuriya : I've always said to myself that I do not want anyone to tell me when to pack my bags and retire. I will leave that decision to my groin muscles and my calves to tell me when enough is enough. Your body has to be able to take the strains of cricket and when your body starts telling you that enough is enough, then it's time to stop.

I don't think I will be playing much longer, but at the moment I'm quite happy to be still playing in tournaments such as the Bangladesh Premier League, the Indian Premier League and the Sri Lankan Premier League.


PakPassion.net : You've brought great entertainment to fans all over the world for many years and I thank you for that and also for your time today in doing this interview with PakPassion.

Sanath Jayasuriya : My pleasure and many thanks to all of your readers and my fans around the world for all the support and well wishes over the years.
 
An absolute pleasure and privilege to interview one of my all time favourite cricketers.

Sanath was a cricketer who as a Pakistan fan was always one of the most feared opponents. As a batsman he could change the course of a match in the space of a few overs and he hit the ball as hard as anyone I have seen bat.

He's named some fantastic bowlers in this interview and all those bowlers despite how good they were, felt the wrath of Sanath at some point in their career.

I think he makes an excellent point about over-coaching and how young cricketers should be given a fair degreee of freedom when it comes to natural flair.

I also agree with him about the SLPL and how useful it is for the nurturing of young talent in Sri Lanka.
 
Sanath is a great player and i still remember when he swung his bat for a big shot!
 
Had a few people asking me whether this interview had been published.

Here you go.
 
As ever, the 1996 World Cup will live long in the memory for the way Jayasuriya and Kaluwitharana changed the game.
 
What were the tactics used by Jaya and his opening partner in 96 World Cup, someone plz aid?
 
What were the tactics used by Jaya and his opening partner in 96 World Cup, someone plz aid?

Before 1996 tournament, openers in ODIs would bat like test openers to see the new ball off...... then let the middle order do the bulk of scoring.

Kalu/Jaya started to hit out right from the word go....as openers they would attack the bowling. These stats prove that....

From 1/1/1995 to 31/12/1997, look at the S/R of ODI openers.... Jaya/Kalu are right at the top scoring with a S/R of 99+ when other established openers had S/R in 60s and 70s;

http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/en...5;spanval2=span;template=results;type=batting
 
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Great guy, Sanath Jayasuriya:). Sri Lanka and world cricket in general will never see a player like him.
 
Before 1996 tournament, openers in ODIs would bat like test openers to see the new ball off...... then let the middle order do the bulk of scoring.

Kalu/Jaya started to hit out right from the word go....as openers they would attack the bowling. These stats prove that....

From 1/1/1995 to 31/12/1997, look at the S/R of ODI openers.... Jaya/Kalu are right at the top scoring with a S/R of 99+ when other established openers had S/R in 60s and 70s;

http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/en...5;spanval2=span;template=results;type=batting

Good work W63.

It was interesting listening to him talk about his opening partnership with Kalu and how they were both given a free license to attack and not to worry about getting out cheaply.

A simple yet effective philosophy.
 
A true revolulutionary in a sport. Not often we get to see that. Will always have a lot of respect for him.
 
Happy birthday to Sanath.

Here's an interview I was lucky enough to do with him last year.

Worth a read if you never got the chance to previously.
 
Re: "I Wanted to Intimidate and Dominate Bowlers" : Sanath Jayasuriya

Terrific batsman. Highly enjoyable to watch in his heyday. After intimidating bowlers for two decades, he shifted to intimidating viewers from the commentary box. Highly competent in that too!!!
 
He was a terrific striker in odi's & nice interview Saj .
 
With Sri Lanka ready to face Pakistan tomorrow.

Here's an interview I did with one of Sri Lanka's best ever cricketers.
 
"I wanted to intimidate?" Well you did a heck of a job Mr Jayasuriya :14:
 
PakPassion is delighted to present an exclusive interview with former Sri Lankan all rounder Sanath Jayasuriya.

Jayasuriya made his One Day International debut against Australia at Melbourne on December 26, 1989 and his Test debut against New Zealand at Hamilton in February, 1991. Jayasuriya is the only player to score more than 13,000 runs and capture more than 300 wickets in One Day Internationals and is regarded as one of the best all rounders in the history of Limited overs cricket.

Along with his opening partner Romesh Kaluwitharana, Jayasuriya revolutionized One Day International batting with his aggressive tactics during the 1996 Cricket World Cup, a strategy they first tried on the preceding tour of Australia.

He held the records for the fastest fifty (against Pakistan in 17 balls), fastest 100 (against Pakistan in 48 balls) and fastest 150 (against England in 95 balls) in ODI cricket. Though he lost the fastest 100 to Shahid Afridi and fastest 150 to Shane Watson, he still holds the record for the fastest fifty. Jayasuriya and Sachin Tendulkar are the only players in history to have 4 ODI scores over 150.

He was also named as one of the Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 1997 and served as captain of the Sri Lankan team in 38 Test matches from 1999 to 2003.

Jayasuriya announced his intention to retire from Test cricket following the Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka in April 2006. He reversed his decision soon after, however, joining the Sri Lankan cricket team in England in May 2006. Missing the first two Tests, Jayasuriya returned in the Third Test at Trent Bridge.

After scoring 78 runs on day three of the first Test against England in Kandy in 2007, he announced he was to retire from Test cricket at the end of the match. In that innings he hit six fours in one over against James Anderson.

He also scored 2 centuries and 2 half-centuries in the 2007 Cricket World Cup held in the West Indies. In 2008, his one-day career was all but over when he was omitted for the ODIs in the West Indies. However, a stirring performance in the IPL—finishing the third-highest run-getter with 514 runs—prompted his country's sports minister to intervene in his selection for the Asia Cup. He ultimately shaped Sri Lanka's title victory with a blistering hundred under pressure.

His election as a Member of Parliament in April 2010 and his subsequent failure at the World Twenty20 suggested that his international career may be at an end, but he made the longlist for the 30-man squad for the 2011 World Cup, before being recalled to the one-day side for the series in England two weeks shy of his 42nd birthday.

No doubt Sir, you single handedly revolutionized the ODIs which has subsequently given birth to T20 revolution.
 
"I Wanted to Intimidate and Dominate Bowlers" : Sanath Jayasuriya

He did this to selectors by becoming a member of parliament and joining SL's King....i mean dict....i mean president


Lol isnt he who introduced you guys that perera aka sanath 2.0?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
Lol isnt he who introduced you guys that perera aka sanath 2.0?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

No he didn't, Sanath 2.0 just happened have shots similar to Uncle Sanath. Its hard to try to bat like another player, you don't often get to see your batting stance untill you make it to higher level. Any how, all the Perera's are over rated.
 
No he didn't, Sanath 2.0 just happened have shots similar to Uncle Sanath. Its hard to try to bat like another player, you don't often get to see your batting stance untill you make it to higher level. Any how, all the Perera's are over rated.


All the Perera's are overrated? Wow do you even follow SL cricket?
 
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I think Jaya and Kalu revolutionised the opener role in ODI cricket. The way they came out and attacked the bowling from the beginning, it was an eye opener when people used to just take the shine off the ball.
 
Still remember seeing his innings live against us in Delhi during WC 1996. Absolute carnage
 
Aggressive openers of the 80s had a strike rate of 70 and normal openers had 60. Aggressive openers of the early 90s had a strike rate of 80+, and the normal ones had 70. Jaya and Kalu started scoring at about run a ball in the 90s, and changed the way openers batted.

The thing is the batsmen of the 80s could not have done this, because there were no fielding restrictions for the first 15 overs then. When the 15 over field restrictions were introduced in the early 90s (or late 80s?), the batsmen were still skeptical and did not utilize them as intended - Jaya and Kalu were the pioneers of exploiting this rule effectively, although these were not the first batsmen to do so - Mike Greatbatch from NZ exploited the rule effectively during the 92 WC. Brian Lara also played aggressive cricket during the first 15 overs during the WC 92.
 
Loved him in the 90s but slightly tarnished his legacy by playing way past his sell by date. Was an embarrasment to watch in the end.
 
No he didn't, Sanath 2.0 just happened have shots similar to Uncle Sanath. Its hard to try to bat like another player, you don't often get to see your batting stance untill you make it to higher level. Any how, all the Perera's are over rated.
agreed about all Perera's being overrated.
 
Sanath Jayasuriya, one of cricket's most dangerous batsman, is currently suffering from a severe knee injury and is walking with the help of crutches, according to reports. Pictures of the former Sri Lankan batsman walking with the help of crutches have gone viral on social media with fans from across the world expressing their concern for the 48-year-old. Jayasuriya, known for his aggressive batting and disciplined left-arm spin, is reportedly set to undergo surgery on his knee in Melbourne and will remain under observation for about a month.

'Matara Marauder', as he was fondly known in his hey-days, played 110 Test matches and 445 ODIs, scoring 6,973 and 13,430 runs, respectively. He has also claimed 98 Test wickets and 323 ODI wickets during his illustrious career, where he won the 1996 World Cup with Sri Lanka.

Jayasuriya was also the captain of the Sri Lankan team from 1999 to 2003, having succeeded Arjuna Ranatunga. The journey came to an end with Sri Lanka's exit in the semi-finals from the 2003 World Cup, hosted by South Africa.

Incidentally, he made his ODI debut in 1989 against Australia in the same city he will be visiting for his surgery.

His Test debut came two years later. The all-rounder, having retired from international cricket in 2011, was the chief selector of the Sri Lankan national team. But following the retirement of some big name players, juxtaposed with a poor run of games angered the fans, prompting Jayasuriya to resign from his post in September 2017.

The southpaw also had a stint in the IPL. He played alongside the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Shaun Pollock with the Mumbai Indians and also has a century to his name against the Chennai Super Kings in the inaugural edition of the tournament.

https://sports.ndtv.com/cricket/san...ry-unable-to-walk-without-crutches-1796671?fb
 
Sanath Jayasuriya, one of cricket's most dangerous batsman, is currently suffering from a severe knee injury and is walking with the help of crutches, according to reports. Pictures of the former Sri Lankan batsman walking with the help of crutches have gone viral on social media with fans from across the world expressing their concern for the 48-year-old. Jayasuriya, known for his aggressive batting and disciplined left-arm spin, is reportedly set to undergo surgery on his knee in Melbourne and will remain under observation for about a month.

'Matara Marauder', as he was fondly known in his hey-days, played 110 Test matches and 445 ODIs, scoring 6,973 and 13,430 runs, respectively. He has also claimed 98 Test wickets and 323 ODI wickets during his illustrious career, where he won the 1996 World Cup with Sri Lanka.

Jayasuriya was also the captain of the Sri Lankan team from 1999 to 2003, having succeeded Arjuna Ranatunga. The journey came to an end with Sri Lanka's exit in the semi-finals from the 2003 World Cup, hosted by South Africa.

Incidentally, he made his ODI debut in 1989 against Australia in the same city he will be visiting for his surgery.

His Test debut came two years later. The all-rounder, having retired from international cricket in 2011, was the chief selector of the Sri Lankan national team. But following the retirement of some big name players, juxtaposed with a poor run of games angered the fans, prompting Jayasuriya to resign from his post in September 2017.

The southpaw also had a stint in the IPL. He played alongside the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Shaun Pollock with the Mumbai Indians and also has a century to his name against the Chennai Super Kings in the inaugural edition of the tournament.

https://sports.ndtv.com/cricket/san...ry-unable-to-walk-without-crutches-1796671?fb

What happened to him?

see above
 
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