Sri Lanka veteran confirms that decision had been made before the start of the ICC World Twenty20 2012
A dejected Mahela Jayawardena during the post-match presentation ceremony with Kumar Sangakkara.
Moments after Sri Lanka lost to the West Indies in the final of the ICC World Twenty20 2012, Mahela Jayawardene said he was stepping as the captain of the Twenty20 International team.
Making it clear that defeat in the final had nothing to do with the decision, Jayawardene said he felt it was time for Sri Lanka to start blooding a new leader. “Guys, this is not a surprise,” Jayawardene told newsmen on Sunday night. “I have had a chat to the selectors before this tournament started, and I was going to step down from the Twenty20 captaincy after this World Cup. I personally feel that for Sri Lanka to go forward, we needed a younger leader. It’s a great opportunity for someone to start off with the Twenty20 format. I have spoken to the selectors and they are quite happy with that.”
“Just to say that I really enjoyed working with you guys. I haven’t stepped down from other formats. I took over till December, till the Australian tour,” said Jayawardene, who had returned as Sri Lanka captain in February, after Tillakaratne Dilshan stepped down following the tour of South Africa which ended in January. “I will assess what I want to do after that (the Australian tour). They will make a call on who is going to lead the side in Twenty20 cricket.”
Jayawardene, 35, didn’t rule out continuing to play international Twenty20 cricket, saying, “It depends on whether the new captain and the selectors want me.”
It is expected that Angelo Mathews, Jayawardene’s deputy who has led Sri Lanka in his absence, will take over as the Twenty20 captain.
Under Jayawardene, who will lead Delhi Daredevils in the Champions League beginning next week in South Africa, Sri Lanka won 12, lost six and tied one of 19 T20Is.