There is an obvious successor to the throne: Jayawardene

February 12th, 2009 - 8:53 pm ICT by IANS  

Colombo, Feb 12 (IANS) A day after he decided to step down from Sri Lanka’s captaincy after the Test series in Pakistan, Mahela Jayawardene subtly indicated that wicket-keeper batsman Kumar Sangakkara was the ideal replacement to the throne.

“There is an obvious successor to the throne. This is the ideal time to leave my successor to make his own imprint,” Jayawardene said without naming his deputy Sangakkara.

“It is up to the selectors to take the call. I have no problem in playing under anybody,” the 31-year old stylish right-hander, who led the lions to the last World Cup final, told reporters here Thursday.

He said Sangakkara, being his deputy, has helped him a lot in and out of the field in building a strong team and getting the maximum out of them on any given day.

Jayawardene said Sri Lanka has a very young and talented group of players in the fold, “but we need to polish them up and fine tune them a bit in some areas.”

Jayawardene termed his decision to step down as purely “independent” and insisted it has nothing to do with the ODI home series loss to India.

He said he still has a lot left in him as a batsman to offer towards Sri Lanka’s success.

“I never looked to captain the team till the next World Cup. Hopefully, I will be in the team for some time to give my best. Now my aim is to become a better player,” he said.

Jayawardene, who is in the 8,000 ODI-run club, said he would be glad if the team performs well and gives him an ideal send-off with a Test series win in Pakistan.

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