Jayasuriya denies President behind Test return

LONDON, May 13, 2006 (AFP) – Sanath Jayasuriya has insisted the President of Sri Lanka played no role in his decision to end his retirement from Test cricket. The 36-year-old former Sri Lanka captain, who arrived in England on Saturday, could only watch from beyond the boundary at Lord’s while his erstwhile team-mates followed-on in the first Test after being bowled out for just 192 in reply to England’s first innings 551 for six declared.

It is less than a month since Jayasuriya said he was quitting Test cricket in order to concentrate on one-day internationals in the build-up to next year’s World Cup in the Caribbean.

But he insisted his decision to make himself available again for the five-day game was down to newly-appointed chairman of selectors Asantha de Mel and not Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

“Asantha de Mel is the chairman of selectors and he was the one who contacted me,” Jayasuriya said.

“He was the one who changed my mind, and after discussions with various people involved in my career I thought if the team and my country need me then my services are available.”

Jayasuriya said Sri Lanka coach Tom Moody was