Jayawardene says ‘gut feeling’ prompted Test retirement

Mahela Jayawardene

COLOMBO, August 18, 2014 (AFP) – Mahela Jayawardene Monday said a “gut feeling” prompted him to quit Test cricket as he turned his attention to one last World Cup campaign after near-misses in 2007 and 2011. The modest former Test captain, one of only five batsmen to top 11,000 runs in both Test and one-day cricket, bowed out after Sri Lanka sealed a 2-0 Test series win over Pakistan.

“Players come and go, but the game continues,” the 37-year-old said, after ending a 17-year Test career in which he became one of the great batsmen of modern times.

Jayawardene was hoisted onto his team-mates’ shoulders and warmly congratulated by Sri Lanka’s president after ending his Test career at Colombo’s Sinhalese Sports Club stadium.

It was a fitting place for his farewell after he shared in a record 624 Test partnership with Kumar Sangakkara there in 2006 and amassed 2,921 Test runs at the venue — the most by any batsman at a single ground.

Jayawardene, who retired from Twenty20 internationals after Sri Lanka became world champions in April, said he would concentrate on one-day matches until next year’s World Cup.

“I am not sure I will be selected for the World Cup, but I will focus on one-day