May Master Blaster Sanath continue to whack our blues out of sight
By D. J. Sirimanne, Kaduwela

Sanath Jayasuriya is riding high once again in the shorter version of the game of cricket. In the IPL (Indian Premier League) series, he stole the limelight, and in the Asian Cup 2008, he propelled Sri Lanka to victory.

What a treat it is to watch Sanath in full cry! How he clobbers the ball! Is it a bludgeon or a battering ram he wields, one wonders! Age has not dimmed his eye, nor dulled his natural force. He plays as if he detests singles, twos and threes –mostly fours and sixes flow from his bat.

The last three tons he scored – one in the IPL series, and two in the Asia Cup 2008 – were explosive, super-charged – an attacking batting display that only Sanath could give.

Vintage Sanath, Icon of Sri Lankan Cricket, Master Blaster of the 1996 World Cup – these were just a few of the glowing epithets showered on this man by TV commentators covering these matches.

Where are his detractors, those who wrote him off as “over the hill”? Shame to those who sidelined him. I take my hat off to the Minister of Sports for backing Sanath. Indeed, he has silenced those critics of his who wrote copiously endorsing his exit. To mix metaphors, Sanath has demonstrated that the willow in his hand is mightier than the pen of his critics.

One would have to say: There’s a lot of cricket still in this man. May Sanath continue in the game for a few more years, so that, come what may, as entertainer par excellence, he will chase away the gloom that hangs around us in these difficult times, even if it is for only a little while.

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