IPL is the world’s best tournament: Jayasuriya

June 8th, 2008 - 5:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Colombo, June 08 (IANS) Hailing the opportunity to open with Sachin Tendulkar at the recently concluded Indian Premier League as “a big achievement”, Sri Lanka’s dashing opening batsman Sanath Jayasuriya has said he had “learnt a lot” from the maestro. “I found that even after being in the game for a long time I still had a lot to learn by talking to Sachin. His cricket knowledge was amazing,” Jayasuriya said in an interview with local private radio Hiru FM.

The 38-year-old left-handed former Sri Lanka captain, who has scored over 10,000 runs in the one-day internationals, played for Mumbai Indians under Sachin’s captaincy and hammered a second fastest century (unbeaten), in addition to five half centuries in the IPL 20-20 tournament.

“He (Sachin) is a great human being and an excellent captain. Myself and Dilhara (Fernando) were able to learn a lot from him,” Jayasuriya said, describing the IPL series as “the best tournament” he had ever seen by all standards.

“The Indian Board had organized it superbly. IPL is now the world’s number 1,” he said, adding that it had provided the youngsters “the chance to talk to some of the great international players, share their experiences and learn from them”.

Jayasuriya, who retired last year from test cricket, has represented Sri Lanka in 110 tests and 411 one day internationals and was reinstated into the Sri Lankan team for the forthcoming Asia Cup tournament in Pakistan.

SLC National Selectors said that Jayasuriya’s dashing form displayed in the IPL tournament has forced them to reconsider their decision and include him for the Asian Cup tournament commencing later this month.

The selectors also said that he would “definitely be playing in the next World Cup as long as the veteran left hander maintains his fitness and form in the important games”.

Responding to a question whether he would play the next World Cup matches, Jayasuriya said he would do his utmost for the country.

“There is a lot of time to go before the next World Cup, so I am not able to say anything about playing in that. I am now back in the team and I am pleased with it - nothing will be greater than playing for your own country,” Jayasuriya said.

He became the third highest paid player of the IPL, next to India’s Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Australia’s Andrew Symonds when he was sold for a whopping US $975,000 at a players’ auction in India early this year.

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