“His arrival into cricket was just what Sri Lanka needed to break into the cricketing big league.”
NO MAJOR SPOILERS
This is a rags to riches story in a way – the tale of a young man from Matara who changed the cricketing future of Sri Lanka. The strength of Sanath Jayasuriya’s wrists was legendary – he reportedly climbed coconut palms for fun – whipping the ball this way and that. His arrival into cricket was just what Sri Lanka needed to break into the cricketing big league.
Sports journalist Chandresh Narayanan’s biography covers the course of Jayasuriya’s career from the days when he started playing cricket at the age of nine and the bat was taller than he was! Like Pataudi Jayasuriya did not have his own bat in the beginning -though that was to change later in life. He is so far the only player to score 12,000 runs and take 300+ wickets in the ODIs.
For Jayasuriya fans the anecdotes will prove interesting about how a young man learnt to tour globally with his team. What may upset people is the fact that Narayanan writes that his career as politician was equally fast, in failure, adding another not so positive fast to his previous records – Imran Khan is possibly the only cricketer to date to have made it as Prime Minister – and Jayasuriya chose to enter politics while he was still a cricketer.
The fact that Jayasuriya was embroiled in controversy of all kinds both cricketing and non cricketing will come as no surprise, not to mention the fact that his stint with the Mumbai Indians was regarded as selling out by the Sri Lankans. However, all this does not diminish Jayasuriya’s contribution to Sri Lanka’s cricketing history, so Jayasuriya admirers will find an easy paced almost ball by ball narrative that covers landmark moments to go through.
Narayanan supports the points that he makes with well-researched data and references that annotate the pages.
Added 6th May 2019