DNA India: Sanath Jayasuriya dons several hats. Besides being a Member of Parliament and the chairman of selectors, he also promotes Sri Lankan tourism.
And, while Tamil Nadu has barred his countrymen from playing in Chennai, Jayasuriya says Sri Lanka believe in equality. “It is disappointing that sports comes into such situations. We, as Sri Lankans, treat everyone the same. We never had any issues with people from Chennai coming to Sri Lanka. We’ve always treated them like our brothers and sisters,” he said.
As selector, the former Lankan captain has reasons to be disappointed. Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) had requested the BCCI a few days ago to allow some of their players — the ones benched by the IPL franchises — to fly back home for a domestic tri-series ahead of the ICC Champions Trophy.
However, it was turned down. “But we can only request and not force them as the players are contracted with the franchises,” he said.
We remember Jayasuriya the swashbuckling opener but, make no mistake, he also picked up 323 wickets in ODIs. The ‘Matara Mauler’ agrees that these days spin bowling is all about restricting the flow of runs. Spinners are bowling with a flatter trajectory to block runs. Imparting flight is passe. “It is more about containing the batsmen now. We can’t take wickets, we need to bowl in good areas or we’ll just be hit for boundaries,” he added.
So who’s the most destructive batter in world cricket now? “Nowadays, cricketers are just coming in and hitting sixes and 30-ball hundreds! You never know who will come next and hit a hundred. But if I have to pick one, it has to be Chris Gayle. He is on a different level now,” Jayasuriya said. And Sehwag? “He will be back at his best but it will take time.”