Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene has informed the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) that he would like to resign from the post after the forthcoming two-Test series in Pakistan.
SLC chief executive Duleep Mendis told IANS that Jayawardene expressed his desire to stand down as captain after the Pakistan tour "in the best interests of the Sri Lanka team".
"This is something I have been considering for some time as it has been my long-held belief that my successor should have at least 18 months in the job to imprint his vision on the team for the 2011 World Cup. After much thought, I have concluded that the right time has now come for fresh leadership to take over," Jayawardene said in a statement.
"It was not an easy decision to make because being Sri Lanka national captain has been the source of enormous pride and I am very grateful to have been granted the honour of leading the team during the last three years," he added.
Sri Lanka, under Jayawardene, lost the recent ODI series 1-4 against India at home, though they won the three-match series in Pakistan.
Jayawardene, his deputy Kumar Sangakkara and world's highest wicket-taker in both Tests and ODIs Muttiah Muralitharan were not included in the Twenty20 side that lost to India Tuesday night. Sangakkara is now tipped to take over as the captain.
"I look forward now to extending my full support to my successor and hope to play a major part in the team's success," Jayawardene said.