Sangakkara backs Jayasuriya for World Cup
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter

Player:ST Jayasuriya, KC Sangakkara
Event:ICC World Twenty20 2009

DateLine: 12th June 2009


Sri Lanka skipper Kumar Sangakkara has backed veteran Sanath Jayasuriya to feature at the next World Cup.


Jayasuriya, who will turn 40 later this month, silenced his critics as he blasted his way to form ahead of Friday's Super Eights clash with Pakistan at Lord's, with a match winning 81 from just 47 balls against West Indies.


The left-hander though had come into the tournament in poor form, but his timely return augurs well for a team which depends so much on him for a good start.


"We have a World Cup coming up in 2011, so the decision is ultimately his," Sangakkara said.


"We are just happy to have him because he has won a lot of games for us, and I strongly believe he is going to win a lot more. Can he make the World Cup? Why not?


"He can keep going as long as he is fit. In Sri Lanka we are trying to move away from talking too much about age and potential and moving more towards about performance.


"It doesn't matter how old you are, in my view. If you are fit, scoring the runs and taking the wickets and doing the work at training, those are the people that are key when it comes to building a side.


"Because they can be a great example for youngsters coming in or even watching the game.


"They see how well these guys prepare and how much hard work goes into becoming a good player."


The southpaw had been struggling for a while now having not been able to do much in the warm-up matches and not being at his prime in the second edition of the IPL. But his innings of 10 fours and three sixes against a quality West Indian attack, was well recieved by the Sri Lankans.


"As a unit we have never had any questions about what Sanath can do," Sangakkara added.


"We have seen it for years and we were just waiting until he worked his way into the tournament.


"It was great for his confidence, and for that of the team in general, that he got the runs he did.


"The manner in which he got them was very encouraging: we want him to feel comfortable and not worry about having to do anything special other than just be himself and be a part of our side.


"We want him there, we think he's a match-winner and as long as he is fit and willing to play for us, we are happy to have him."


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