KARACHI: Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardene said on Sunday that victory over Pakistan in the two-Test series would be the perfect way for him to end his spell as captain.
Jayawardene, 31, has already announced that he will step down from the captaincy after the second Test ends in Lahore on March 5. The first Test will be played at Karachi from February 21 to25 while a two-day warm-up game against the Patron’s XI will be held on February 17-18.
“For us it would be brilliant and for me to leave on that note would be icing on the cake,” Jayawardene told reporters.
Sri Lanka, which won the three-match One-Day series 2-1 against Pakistan last month before losing 4-1 to India at home, returned on Sunday to play two Tests. “I’m just going to enjoy the way I’ve enjoyed the last three years (as captain),” Jayawardene said.
“We needed a fresh guy to lead us through the World Cup (in 2011) and for him to have adequate time to settle in and imprint his authority on how he wants to take us to the World Cup.”
“It’s been a great experience leading my team,” Jayawardene said. “I felt it was right time to let it (captaincy) go and concentrate more on my cricket and take on another challenge which is to be a much better cricketer than who I am right now.
Sri Lanka crushed Pakistan by 234 runs in the Lahore ODI last month to clinch the series, which led the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to appoint middle-order batsman Younis Khan as the new captain.
“Even though Younis has just taken over, he has done this in the past and at the same time he is a very experienced cricketer so I don’t think leading the team is going to be a problem for him,” Jayawardene said.
“We have to wait and see how there approach is going to be.For us it’s going to be a great challenge to come back to Pakistan and play a Test series.”
Mahela Jayawardene (capt.), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Dilhara Fernando, Prasanna Jayawardene, Chamara Kapugedera, Suranga Lakmal, Farvez Maharoof, Ajantha Mendis, Muttiah Muralitharan, Tharanga Paranavitana, Thilan Samaraweera, Kumar Sangakkara, Thilan Thushara, Chaminda Vaas, Malinda Warnapura. — AP