Jayasuriya offers to step down

Distressed by the indifferent show in the World Cup, Sri Lankan skipper Sanath Jayasuriya has offered to quit his post.
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Published on Mar 22, 2003 07:30 PM IST
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PTI | ByPress Trust of India, Colombo

Distressed by the indifferent show in the World Cup, Sri Lankan skipper Sanath Jayasuriya has offered to quit his post "in the best interest of the game" but he is being egged on to continue.

Jayasuriya offered to step down from captaincy immediately after the team arrived here from South Africa yesterday, Johnston Fernando, the Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, was quoting as saying in the state-run Daily News.

However, Johnston said he had urged Jayasuriya to stay on at the helm: "I see no reason as to why you should step down. We -- the national selectors, the sports ministry and the cricket board -- appointed you to lead and you should continue."

Jayasuriya, who met the selectors on Saturday, will consider his future over the weekend before making a final decision on Monday when the squad for the Sharjah Cup is named.

Sri Lanka's World Cup campaign never looked convincing. They managed a Super Sixes berth after a rain-affected tie with hosts South Africa. The Super Sixes saw them losing to Australia and India before scampering to the semi-final where they were shown the door by the defending champions.

Jayasuriya has reportedly confirmed his willingness to step down to friends and it appears likely that he will hand over the leadership to vice-captain Marvan Atapattu.

Jayasuriya was appointed captain after the sacking of Arjuna Ranatunga in 1999. He led the side to a record 10 consecutive Test victories in 2002.

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