Mahela Jayawardene

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Mahela Jayawardene
මහේල ජයවර්ධන
Mahela Jayawardene 3.JPG
Personal information
Full name Denagamage Proboth Mahela de Silva Jayawardene
Born (1977-05-27) 27 May 1977 (age 38)
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Nickname Maiya
Height 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
Batting style Right hand batsman
Role Batsman
International information
National side
Test debut (cap 69) 2 August 1997 v India
Last Test 14 – 18 August 2014 v Pakistan
ODI debut (cap 92) 24 January 1998 v Zimbabwe
Last ODI 18 March 2015 v South Africa
ODI shirt no. 27 (was 92)
T20I debut (cap 5) 15 June 2006 v England
Last T20I 6 April 2014 v India
Domestic team information
Years Team
1995–2015 Sinhalese Sports Club
2007–2012 Wayamba Elevens
2008 Derbyshire
2008–2010 Kings XI Punjab
2011 Kochi Tuskers Kerala
2012–2014 Delhi Daredevils
2012 Wayamba United
2015 Sussex
2015 Jamaica Tallawahs
2015-Present Central Stags [1]
Career statistics
Competition Test ODI T20I List A
Matches 149 448 55 541
Runs scored 11,814 12,650 1493 15,181
Batting average 49.84 33.37 31.76 33.43
100s/50s 34/50 19/77 1/9 19/94
Top score 374 144 100 163*
Balls bowled 589 593 6 1,280
Wickets 6 8 - 24
Bowling average 51.66 70.57 - 47.75
5 wickets in innings 0 0 - 0
10 wickets in match 0 n/a - n/a
Best bowling 2/32 2/56 - 3/25
Catches/stumpings 205/– 218/– 17/– 263/–
Source: ESPN Cricinfo, 27 November 2015

Denagamage Praboth Mahela de Silva Jayawardene (Sinhalese: මහේල ජයවර්ධන; born 27 May 1977), known as Mahela Jayawardene, is a former Sri Lankan cricketer and captain of the Sri Lankan cricket team. He is widely regarded as one of the greats of modern cricket due to his masterful technician oozing class of batting, regarded amongst the best batsman against spin, along with his long time team mate and friend, Kumar Sangakkara and a legend in the history of the game.

Jayawardene made his Test cricket debut in 1997 and his One Day International (ODI) debut the following season. In 2006 he made the highest ever score by a Sri Lankan in Test cricket, scoring 374 in the second Test of Sri Lanka's home series against South Africa. He has a test cricket average of over 50 and a One Day average in the 30s. He is the first player in the history of Sri Lankan cricket to score over 10,000 Test runs. Despite his relatively low ODI average, Jayawardene is considered to be one of the best batsmen produced by Sri Lanka.

He is one of only four Sri Lankans—the others being Sanath Jayasuriya, Kumar Sangakkara and Tillakaratne Dilshan—to have the prestigious record of having scored more than 10,000 runs in ODIs. Along with teammate Sangakkara, he recorded for the most partnership runs for the 3rd wicket in Tests, scoring 5890 runs surpassing 5826 run stand of Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar, during the first test match against Pakistan at Galle International Stadium, which was his last test at the venue. He scored 56 runs at that match, where his counterpart scored 221 runs.

Jayawardene was a key member of the team that won the 2014 ICC World Twenty20 and was part of the team that made to the final of 2007 Cricket World Cup, 2011 Cricket World Cup, 2009 ICC World Twenty20 and 2012 ICC World Twenty20.

In 2006, Jayawardene was named by the International Cricket Council as the best international captain of the year and was nominated in 2007 as the best Test cricket player of the year. He is also known for his fielding skills in the inner ring, with a report prepared by Cricinfo in late 2005 showing that since the 1999 Cricket World Cup, he had effected the most number of run-outs in ODI cricket of any fieldsman, with the fifth highest run-out/match ratio in ODI's.[2] Statistics also reveal that c Jayawardene b Muralitharan is the most common bowler-fielder combination in the history of Test cricket.


Early and domestic career[edit]

Jayawardene was educated at one of the most prestigious schools of Sri Lanka, Nalanda College Colombo. At early age Mahela's father, Mr Senerath Jayawardene introduced him to Lionel Coaching Clinic run by Nondescripts Cricket Club in Cinnamon Gardens.[3] It was there that he learned to play cricket. Mahela captained Nalanda College Colombo first XI cricket team in 1994. He developed his talents through the school cricket team, eventually becoming captain. He was runner-up for the best schoolboy cricketer award during the 1994 cricketing season.

Domestically he has played for Sinhalese Sports Club since 1995. He was signed to play as an overseas player for Derbyshire for the first half of the 2008 English cricket season. However, his commitments to Sri Lanka and involvement in the Indian Premier League prevented him from playing any part in the 2008 county season.[4]

International career[edit]

Career in 1990s[edit]

Mahela Jayawardene is the 69th Sri Lanka Test Cap, having made his debut against India at Colombo in 1997. Jayawardene made his Test debut in the record breaking Test in 1997 against India at R.P.S., Colombo. Jayawardene added 66 to Sri Lanka's first innings score of 952/6, the highest Test score ever. He was at the crease when the previous highest Test score was surpassed. Early in his career he scored 167 against New Zealand and 242 against India.

Jayawardene's One Day International debut was against Zimbabwe at Premadasa in January 1998. Sri Lanka won the match, with Jayawardene hitting the winning run. In the next game Jayawardene scored 74. It took only 11 matches before he scored his first century, which was against England in the Carlton and United World Series game at Adelaide. Jayawardene entered a pressure situation, with Sri Lanka struggling at 134/4 in the run chase, but made an innings of 120 runs to win the match. The match is notable for Ross Emerson's no-balling of Muttiah Muralitharan for throwing, which led the Sri Lankan captain Arjuna Ranatunga to lead his team to the edge of the field and consider walking out of the match, as well as physical shoulder-barging by some players.


Jayawardene was the captain of the Sri Lankan national team during the England tour in 2006 in the absence of Marvan Atapattu. He led his team to 1–1 draw in the Test series and an emphatic 5–0 whitewash in the ODI series.

Jayawardene's results in international matches[5]
  Matches Won Lost Drawn Tied No result
Test[6] 149 58 46 45 0
ODI[7] 448 241 186 3 17
T20I[8] 55 37 17 1

In the first Test of the 2006 Test series against South Africa, Jayawardene shared a world record partnership of 624 runs alongside Kumar Sangakkara. This partnership, the highest for any wicket in first-class cricket history, and the first instance of a stand of 600 or more in a first-class or Test match innings, smashed the previous third wicket stand for Sri Lanka, surpassing 262 which involved himself along with Thilan Samaraweera. It also broke the previous record for the third wicket partnership for all Test playing nations surpassing the 467 run partnership made by the New Zealanders Martin Crowe and Andrew Jones.

Jayawardene became the first Sri Lankan captain to score a Test triple-century, making 374 off 572 deliveries with 43 fours and 1 six, the fourth highest individual innings score in Test match cricket and the highest by a right-hander. He is also the first batsman to pass 350 in a Test without going on to break the world record. He also surpassed the highest score by a Sri Lankan in a Test match, previously Sanath Jayasuriya's 340 in 1997 against India, coincidentally also produced in a world record partnership.

He was also chosen as a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 2007. In the 2007 Cricket World Cup, Jayawardene hit one century and four half-centuries and was the second highest run-scorer in the list topped by Australia's Matthew Hayden. His century, which came against New Zealand helped Sri Lanka win the Semi-Final. Sri Lanka finished runners-up in the World Cup losing to Australia in the final. He is the only batsman in World Cup ODI history to score hundreds in both a semi final and a final of the tournament.He achieved this feat, when scored a century in 2007 Cricket World Cup semi final against New Zealand, and scored a century in 2011 Cricket World Cup final against India.

He has scored centuries against all Test-playing nations. He achieved this feat on the 21st February 2009 by scoring his maiden Test century against Pakistan at the National Stadium in Karachi, Pakistan.

Mahela is the Recipient of International Cricket Council's "Captain of the Year 2006" inaugural award, Captain of the "World One-Day International Team of the Year 2006", Captain of the "Spirit of Cricket Award 2007" Team, Wisden Cricketer of the Year 2007, Record holder for the highest score (374 runs) by a Sri Lankan in Test cricket. He retired from the captaincy due to lack of form and politics in the board.

Jayawardene led Sri Lanka to Pakistan for a Test series in March–April 2009. The series was conducted after the Indian team withdrew from playing in Pakistan, following the November 2008 Mumbai attacks. The first Test ended in a draw. Even though he scored a double century in the first Test, Jayawardene was to resign from captaincy after the second Test in the series. Sri Lanka was in a good position in the Test with Thilan Samaraweera hitting his second successive double hundred of the series and Tillakaratne Dilshan scoring a century. On their way to the Gaddafi Stadium for the third day's play, the bus that carried the Sri Lankan players was fired at by 12 masked gunmen. Jayawardene, along with six other Sri Lankan cricketers sustained injuries. Six policemen that guarded the bus and two civilians were killed in the attack.[9] He resigned from vice-captaincy after the team's World Cup defeat. He was appointed as captain again after Tillakaratne Dilshan's controversial captaincy. He was the captain of Kochi Tuskers Kerala in the Indian Premier League.[10] He now plays for the Delhi Daredevils as captain.[11] He won the Spirit of Cricket Award 2013.[12] This was the second instance of him winning this award.


However, he regained some form during the IPL 2010. Before starting their chase of 201 runs against Kolkata Knight Riders, Jayawardene expressed his desire to open the innings to captain Kumar Sangakkara. Sangakkara agreed to his fellow countrymate and Jayawardene scored a blazing 110* off just 59 balls winning them the match in the second last over. Sangakkara, impressed by his teammate set him as opener for the Kings XI Punjab. He scored a few more entertaining knocks in vain including 44 against the Rajasthan Royals and 93* against the Deccan Chargers. He ended the tournament with a batting average of 43.90. He was the 6th highest run scorer for the tournament and highest for the Kings XI Punjab.

Jayawardene batting in a Test match for Sri Lanka in 2008

With Kumar Sangakkara as the Sri Lankan Captain too, Jaywardene was sent as opener for the 2010 ICC World Twenty20. In the first match against New Zealand, he scored 81 off just 51 balls. However, this knock went in vain due to the collapse in the Sri Lankan batting line-up after his wicket fell which resulted in a total of only 135 on board batting first. However, in his very next match against Zimbabwe, he scored 100 of just 64 balls helping them win the match helping them win the match defending a total of 173. He thus became the 4th player to score a century in an Twenty20 International match and the first Sri Lankan to do so. Sri Lanka won the match by D/L method. In the very next match against West Indies, he scored 98* off just 56 balls narrowly missing his second century in a row. This became his third consecutive score above 80.

During the second Test of Sri Lanka's tour of South Africa in 2011–12, Jayawardene became the ninth player in cricket history, and the first Sri Lankan, to score 10,000 Test runs.[13] At the end of the tour he was reappointed as Sri Lanka's captain, following the resignation of Tillakaratne Dilshan.[14]

Jayawardene led Sri Lanka to the final of the 2012 ICC World Twenty20 against the West Indies on home turf. Having restricted the Windies to 137/6, Sri Lanka were steadily making progress in chasing down the target with Jayawardene well set. Halfway through their innings, captain Jayawardene noticed that the West Indies were slightly ahead on Duckworth/Lewis with a hint of rain in the air. He subsequently decided to accelerate the innings, but this only triggered a collapse. The rain never came and Sri Lanka fell a long way short of the target. He resigned as Sri Lanka's T20 captain after the match and in 2014 also announced his retirement from T20 cricket.[15]

He holds the record for most number of catches in ODIs, taking 218 catches in 448 matches.[16] matches.

Last international innings[edit]

On 25 February 2014 in an Asia Cup fixture against Pakistan, Jayawardene became only the 2nd cricketer after Sachin Tendulkar to appear in 600 international matches.[17]

On 14 July 2014, Jayawardene announced his retirement from Test cricket after the 2014 Pakistan series.[18] He played his final Test at his favourite ground, the Sinhalese Sports Club, where he scored 54 runs in his last test innings. The ground was replete with thousands of tributes. Russell Arnold quipped that Legends never retire.

Mahela Bowling vs England in his Final ODI in Sri Lanka

His last One-Day innings in Sri Lanka was played on 13 December 2014 in the last match of England ODI series. He was caught on 28 in his last innings on home soil.[19] Sri Lankan skipper Angelo Mathews gave him the ball to take the final wicket. He got his 8th ODI wicket by dismissing James Tredwell through a stumping, with Sangakkara behind the stumps.

Mahela batting vs England in his final ODI in Sri Lanka

On 11 January 2015, he scored his 18th ODI century against New Zealand. This was his first ODI century in New Zealand in his 17-year-long ODI career.[20]

During a match against Australia at the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup, Mahela became the most capped player for Sri Lanka in ODIs, passing Jayasuriya's 445 ODI matches.

Jayawardene's last ODI was the quarter final of the 2015 World Cup, played against South Africa. He only scored 4 runs and Sri Lanka failed to qualify for the semi-finals for the first time since 1999.[21]

Personal life[edit]

Jayawardene was born to Sunila and Senerath Jayawardene at Colombo in 1977. He had one younger brother, Dhishal who died of a brain tumour, aged 16. This affected Jayawardene psychologically, halting his cricket career for some time. Eventually he was persuaded to go on and set about rebuilding his career by his parents and teammates.

He is married to Christina Mallika Sirisena, a travel consultant. The two have one daughter.[22]

Off the field, he has won praise for his personal contribution to the HOPE cancer project.[23] With memories of his deceased brother in mind, he became the leading campaigner of HOPE.[24] Now, with the support of his team-mates, he aims to build a new 750-bed cancer unit at Maharagama, the country's only dedicated cancer hospital.

After Cricket[edit]

In August 2015, the England Cricket Board announced that they were inviting Mahela to join as batting consultant for the England team. Mahela accepted the new opportunity and he will be part of the England coaching team travelling to the UAE for the Test and limited-overs series against Pakistan in October.[25]

Product and brand endorsements[edit]

Player statistics[edit]

Career Performance[edit]

An innings-by-innings breakdown of Jayawardene's Test match batting career, showing runs scored (red bars) and the average of the last ten innings (blue line).

Test performance against each opponent[edit]

Opponent Matches Innings Not out Runs High Score 100 50 Average
 Australia 16 29 0 969 105 2 5 33.41
 Bangladesh 13 17 2 1146 203* 5 2 76.40
 England 23 41 3 2212 213* 8 10 65.87
 India 18 28 1 1822 275 6 8 67.48
 New Zealand 13 22 1 1028 167 3 6 48.95
 Pakistan 29 55 3 1687 240 2 10 32.44
 South Africa 17 32 1 1782 374 6 2 57.48
 West Indies 12 18 1 748 136 1 4 44.00
 Zimbabwe 8 10 3 420 100* 1 3 60.00
TOTAL 149 252 15 11814 374 34 50 51.45

ODI performance against each opponent[edit]


Opponent Matches Innings Not out Runs High Score 100 50 Average
 Australia 56 54 5 1629 86 0 16 33.24
 Bangladesh 26 21 3 547 108 1 2 30.39
 England 47 43 4 1562 144 5 8 40.05
 India 87 84 8 2666 128 4 17 35.08
 New Zealand 50 45 5 1326 116 3 5 34.00
 Pakistan 67 64 2 1903 123 2 12 30.69
 South Africa 43 43 3 897 77 0 3 22.90
 West Indies 22 20 4 676 106* 1 5 42.25
 Zimbabwe 29 25 3 586 96 0 4 26.64
 Afghanistan 2 2 0 114 100 1 0 57.00
 Bermuda 1 1 0 85 85 0 1 85.00
 Canada 2 1 0 100 100 1 0 100.00
 Ireland 1 1 1 39* 39* 0 0
 Kenya 3 2 0 50 45 0 0 25.00
 Netherlands 3 3 0 48 34 0 0 16.00
 Scotland 2 2 0 66 64 0 1 33.00
 United Arab Emirates 2 2 0 87 61 0 0 43.50
ACA Africa XI 5 5 1 269 107* 1 2 67.25
TOTAL 448 418 39 12650 144 19 77 33.37


Jayawardene has 34 test, 19 ODI and 1 T20I centuries. He is the first Sri Lankan and third overall to score hundreds in all forms of the game.


Jayawardene has 50 Test, 77 ODI and 9 T20I half-centuries.

Test half centuries[edit]

  • In the column Runs, * indicates being not out
  • The column title Match refers to the Match Number of the player's career

One Day International half centuries[edit]

  • In the column Runs, * indicates being not out
  • The column title Match refers to the Match Number of the player's career

Twenty20 International half centuries[edit]

  • In the column Runs, * indicates being not out
  • The column title Match refers to the Match Number of the player's career