Cricket

Published: Tuesday March 18, 2014 MYT 1:12:38 AM
Updated: Tuesday March 18, 2014 MYT 1:13:36 AM

Sangakkara and Jayawardene to retire from T20

COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lanka stalwarts Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene have announced they will retire from international Twenty20 cricket after the World Twenty20 tournament in Bangladesh.

Both players led their country to the finals of the World T20, Sangakkara in 2009 in England when Sri Lanka lost to Pakistan and Jayawardene in 2012 in Sri Lanka when his team was beaten by West Indies.

"Right time for me to retire. Gives the selectors more time to build for next T20 WC," tweeted Sangakkara, 36. "Hope to leave with a win."

The batsman has played 50 T20 internationals for Sri Lanka, hitting 1,311 runs at an average of 32.77 and a strike rate of 120.

Jayawardene also 36 and a former captain, is Sri Lanka's leading run scorer in the format having hit 1,335 runs at an average of 31.78 with a strike rate of 134.17 from 49 T20 internationals.

Wisden India quoted Jayawardene as saying he too had decided it was time to go: "The rationale is pretty much the same as Sanga's," he said.

"When it is clear that I can't see myself playing in the next ICC World T20, there wasn't much point in me occupying a spot. It makes more sense for a youngster to come into the mix and establish himself," he said.

(Editing by Alan Baldwin) nL3N0ME3PA

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