Agence France Presse
Sydney, March 18: Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara might not have got a fairytale ending to their final ODI match of their glorious careers but the veterans smiled through the disappointment as they fondly recounted their respective journeys here Wednesday.
The duo had already called time on their respective ODI careers before the 50-over showpiece event and it ended on a bitterly disappointing note as Sri Lanka bowed out of the World Cup.
The loss notwithstanding, he remembered better things about him and partner Jayawardene. “He (Mahela) would be terribly disappointed but that’s part and parcel of the game, there are no fairytale endings. You may want to win a World Cup and end on a high but if it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t mean you walk away disappointed,” said a smiling Sangakkara in a post-match chat.
Sangakkara relished the days on the field with Jayawardene. “It was always friendly, there was never any rivalry, other than when we played a warm-up game,” stated Sangakkara. “When I got into the side, Mahela was two years there and he was already the vice-captain and he was looked up to, he had a lot of respect. We were of the same age, we hung out together and that’s how we became fast friends.
“When we batted in the field, it was great because he always looked to dominate and I could slip under the radar and coast along. It has been an absolute privileged to bat with him,” Sangakkara added.
Jayawardene, who had already quit the longest format, now bows out of the international scene after a career that started in 1997. Jayawardene though hasn’t had the best of World Cups after managing just a solitary ton in the game against
Afghanistan. But the elegant batsman has no regrets.
“The hardest thing was to evolve with everything, everyday something new, every team is trying something new, so for you to survive, you need to keep pushing yourself and that is the most important thing. I felt, I couldn’t push myself anymore,” stated Jayawardene.
“But playing cricket with this group of players, enjoying with them in the dressing room, has been satisfying. But the most challenging has been to evolve from when I started in 1997 to now when cricket has changed drastically,” he added.
T-149 R-11,814 HS-374 100s-34 50s-50 Avg-49.84
ODIs-448 R12,650 HS-144 100s-19 50s-77 SR-78.96
*Catches-433 (ODI-218; T-205)
T-130 R-12,203 HS-319 100s-38 50s-51 Avg-58.66
ODIs-404 R-14,234 HS-169 100s-25 50s-93 SR-78.86
*Catches-580 (ODI-402; T-178)