Mahela Jayawardene and Muttiah Muralitharan
Mahela Jayawardene and Muttiah Muralitharan. Credits: AFP

Sri Lanka’s legendary spin bowler Muttiah Muralitharan hailed former Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene after the latter was recently inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame.

Jayawardene, 44, was inducted into the Hall of Fame honours by the International Cricket Council along with former South Africa captain Shaun Pollock and former England women’s team player Janette Brittin.

Mahela Jayawardene is a great human being: Muttiah Muralitharan

Muralitharan, who is the highest wicket-taker in international cricket, hailed his former captain in a letter of appreciation that was published on the official website of ICC.

In his letter, Muralitharan said that he didn’t have enough pressure to pick wickets because of the runs Jayawardene would score.

You played so many wonderful innings and were always happy to be in the team, getting a lot of runs. There was less pressure on me to take wickets because once you put on all those runs, my job became easy. That is why you are one of the most important players in Sri Lankan cricket history,” Muralitharan wrote in his letter.

Mahela Jayawardene, ODI World Cup 2007
Mahela Jayawardene (Image Credit: Twitter)

“More than that though, you are a great human being and a very soft, kind guy away from cricket. In sport, everyone sees that champions are always very competitive. On the field, you had this ability to switch on, you were a great person to be around and play with,” he further mentioned.

You consistently delivered as a batter: Muttiah Muralitharan to Mahela Jayawardene

Muralitharan and Jayawardene’s close ally Kumar Sangakkara are the other Sri Lankans who have received the honour to get inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame.

Jayawardene becomes the third from his country to get the honour and Muralitharan said it was a reward for the hard work for so many years for Sri Lanka cricket.

“It isn’t just for one individual moment that you are being inducted into the Hall of Fame, it’s a reward for the toil over the years and everything you contributed for Sri Lanka,” Muralitharan wrote.

Those are all taken into consideration when choosing who is inducted and the ICC thinks it is right that you are the next Sri Lankan to be chosen, to join Kumar Sangakkara and me in the Hall of Fame.

It's A Reward For The Toil Over The Years You Contributed For Sri Lanka: Muttiah Muralitharan To Mahela Jayawardene
Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara. (Credits: Twitter)

You have been selected because as a captain you were very successful, you consistently delivered as a batter and then as a fielder, you took a lot of catches ­– more than anyone else. You have done everyone in Sri Lanka proud,” he concluded.

Jayawardene scored 25,957 runs from 652 matches across all formats and had 54 international hundreds to his name.

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