Whether the match was witnessing powerful-punches or the wickets were tumbling down, the walking in of Mahela Jayawardena brought the lull with him. It always used to be like this whenever he walked in. His arrival at the crease would not only sooth nerves but will allow the textbook cricket shots to return.
Coming from a small island of Sri Lanka, Jayawardena flourished with a great cricketing career. More than 10000 runs in Tests and ODIs and leading Sri Lankan team to a World Cup final in 2007, he made more than good use of his natural ability to time the ball to perfection. One should not forget the World T20 in 2014, which Sri Lanka won and Jayawardena had a vital role to play in the script.
Jayawardena was born on May 27, 1977 in Colombo but at the time of his birth not many had thought that he would go on to score 11814 Test and 12650 ODI runs in future for Sri Lanka.
His best Test innings was typically, a marathon one. A knock of 374 runs against South Africa in 2006 ranks among the finest of his Test innings overall.
He was among one of those international cricketers who never faced any sort of controversy in their careers, did not sledge or use foul language for the umpires or showed disrespect to the team. Okay, maybe he did occasionally. But, the Sri Lankan team had won the Spirit of cricket Trophy from ICC under his captaincy.
One picture of Mahela that comes to mind is his sullen face after the 2011 World Cup final loss. He had scored a gritty hundred in the finals but he was still seeing his team on the losing side. Sums up Mahela’s career pretty much.
He retired from Test cricket in August 2014 and from ODIs in March 2015.