Mahela Jayawardene on Wednesday decided to step down as the captain of Sri Lanka after the upcoming tour of Pakistan, saying that his successor needs at least 18 months to prepare the team for the 2011 World Cup.
Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) chief-executive Duleep Mendis said that Jayawardene officially informed his desire to quit as captain after the Test series in Pakistan.
“In the best interests of the team, I have decided to stand down as the captain after the Pakistan tour,” Jayawardene said.
“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.
According to inside sources, his vice-captain and wicket keeper-batsman, Kumar Sangakkara is likely to be the next captain.
“Sangakkara is the most suitable replacement to lead the team by all means,” an inside source said.
“The new captain would have the daunting task of building up a formidable young team as most of the current players would be in their 40s for the next World Cup.”
Under his captaincy, Sri Lanka has won 15 Tests, lost seven and drew four with the winning ratio of 62.5 percent.
In the 94 One-day internationals, Sri Lanka had won 54 and lost 35 while the rest ended in no-results. As captain, he averaged 64.70 in Tests with 11 centuries, and 34.22 in ODIs.