Veteran batsman Sanath Jayasuriya had a surprise telephone call from President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday congratulating the senior cricketer on completing 20 years of international cricket. However, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) snubbed the cricketer as it took no efforts to mark the occasion.
The President had called up the cricketer in New Delhi yesterday morning where he was preparing to play the fifth and final One-Day International against India.
But surprisingly none of SLC’s highly paid officials or the appointed Interim Committee members took the trouble to call up the cricketer.
SLC has been quick to draft and distribute media releases, even when its chairman D.S. de Silva distributed cricket goods, but surprisingly had overlooked the important milestone.
Only Javed Miandad and Sachin Tendulkar have represented their countries in ODI cricket for more than 20 years.
Jayasuriya first played for Sri Lanka in 1989 on Boxing Day when he appeared in a One-Day International at the MCG against Australia, and since then, has been ever-present in the Sri Lankan team and went on to captain the side for four years.
Playing under Arjuna Ranatunga, Jayasuriya’s debut was inauspicious as he was dismissed by Merv Hughes for just three runs, but he went on to have a successful international career, the highlight of which was being named the ‘Player of the Tournament’ in the 1996 World Cup.