May 11, 2006 (AFP) – Veteran batsman Sanath Jayasuriya will join his Sri Lanka team-mates in England later this week after reversing his decision to quit, chief selector Asantha de Mel said on Thursday. The left-hander, 36, will arrive in England well ahead of the second Test in Edgbaston from May 25 and stay for the third Test and the subsequent five one-day internationals, de Mel told reporters.
“Jayasuriya indicated a willingness to make himself available for Test cricket again and we decided to send him to England as soon as possible,” he said.
The build-up to the three-Test series, starting at Lord’s later on Thursday, has been overshadowed by Jayasuriya’s dramatic comeback less than a month after he said he was quitting Test cricket to concentrate on one-dayers.
De Mel, who replaced Lalith Kaluperuma as chairman of the selection committee last week, blamed his predecessor for forcing the former captain out of Test matches.
De Mel said Jayasuriya was handed an ultimatum to either quit or be sacked by the previous regime, but the new committee wanted him back because he still had a lot to offer.
“I had a talk with the team management in England and they told me they were toying w