Sri Lanka ponder life after golden generation

COLOMBO, August 20, 2014 (AFP) – Sri Lanka are banking on young talent to see them through a transitional phase in Test cricket despite the departure of one batting great, another approaching retirement and an ageing spinner in the ranks. Former captain Mahela Jayawardene, who ended his 17-year Test career on Monday following the 2-0 series win over Pakistan, said there was no cause for panic over the side’s immediate future.

The elegant 37-year-old insisted Sri Lanka had a good pool of young players who were ready to take over.

“When Murali (Muttiah Muralitharan) retired, people said we won’t win without him,” Jayawardene said.

“But we are still doing well. There are others who will do even better than us.”

Jayawardene, who will quit all forms of cricket after next year’s 50-over World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, is one only five batsmen to score more than 11,000 runs in both Test and one-day cricket, the others being Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting, Jacques Kallis and team-mate Kumar Sangakkara.

Sangakkara, who turns 37 in October, could also hang up his bat after the World Cup even though his excellent recent form suggests retirement is not his immediate concern.

Both batsmen have already retired fr