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Jayasuriya reverses retirement decision

The Lankan opener has reversed his decision to retire from Test cricket and has been added to the squad touring England.

india Updated: May 10, 2006 20:57 IST

Sri Lanka opener Sanath Jayasuriya has reversed his decision to retire from Test cricket and has been added to the squad touring England.

Jayasuriya retired last month but Sri Lanka's new chairman of selectors, Ashantha de Mel, persuaded him to reconsider, a Sri Lankan cricket board official said.

The 36-year-old will miss the first Test starting on Thursday at Lord's but will be available for second Test match at Edgbaston beginning on May 25.

The news had not reached the Sri Lanka team in London.

"I haven't been told so I don't know," team manager Michael Tissera said.

Jayasuriya, Sri Lanka's highest run scorer in Tests and one-day internationals, handed a letter confirming his decision to cricket board chief executive Duleep Mendis on Wednesday.

De Mel met Jayasuriya and an emergency selection meeting was convened in the afternoon during which government approval was obtained for him to be sent to England immediately.

The left-hander's U-turn followed comments from de Mel that his predecessor Lalith Kaluperuma had forced Jayasuriya into retirement.

"I have very reliable information that he was forced to retire," de Mel said in an interview last weekend with the Sunday Island newspaper.

"If a player wants to retire he does that before a series, but on this instance he was forced to retire and for me it's totally wrong," he added.

"They should have at least respected the man because he has done so much for the country, but on this instance he was basically asked to pack his bags and go home."

Jayasuriya's last appearance was in the second Test against Pakistan in April but it was cut short when he dislocated his thumb on the second day of play.

He has scored 6,613 runs in 102 Test appearances at an average of 41.59, including 14 centuries and 29 fifties.

First Published: May 10, 2006 20:57 IST