Mahela a "Rare brand" at the art of action says captain Mathews


Sri Lankan captain Angelo Mathews said  that the best tribute the team can offer to the retiring cricketer Mahela Jaywardena is to win the second test against Pakistan.

"As we all know, it's going to be Mahela's last game. It's an emotional moment for everyone... we want to win it for him,". 

He made the above statement at a pre-match press conference convened in Colombo on Wednesday.

He also said , "When you walk into a game, we want to win all the time, that's the attitude we take, regardless of what's happening around. We want to keep our focus and play it for Mahela.

"It will take a long time to replace him because he's the kind of player that comes around very rarely. We can't do his service justice with words.

"As a team we're very sad he's retiring. The best thing we can do is play well in this match and win it for him."

Mathews said the team especially the younger players will miss Jayawardene's presence in the dressing room.

Cricket fans will not get a chance ever again to see Mahela Jayawardena on the pitch after the second test in the white kit again, as he bids farewell to the longer format of the game.

Cricketers like Mahela Jayawardene come around very rarely and younger players in the team have a lot to learn from his fighting attitude, Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews said on the eve of the veteran batsman's last Test match.

"Up to now, he has supported me right throughout from day one, and I'm really thankful to him for that." said Mathews

The second Test against Pakistan starting on Thursday will be an emotional one for Sri Lanka and Jayawardene as the 37-year-old bids farewell to Test cricket as one of its prolific run-scorers.

The Sri Lankan team that will play against Pakistan in the second test  will commence on Thursday at the SSC Grounds in Colombo, attended their final practice session on Wednesday.

Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardena are both amongst the top batsman who have passed the 11,000 runs mark in test cricket. Mahela Jayawardena has scored a total of 2863 runs in 26 test matches played at the SSC and is the highest scorer at any single venue in test cricket.

Jayawardena has made 148 test appearances scoring 11,756 runs which include 34 centuries and 49 half centuries.