Mahela Jaywardene to step down as captain after tour of Australia

Mahela Jaywardene and Angelo MathewsMahela Jaywardene has confirmed he will step down from the captaincy at the end of Sri Lanka’s tour of Australia – a move he had hinted at for some months now. Jayawardene’s second stint at the helm began in January, when he was called in to replace Tillakaratne Dilshan. The fifth ODI on January 23 in Hobart will be his final match as captain.

Vice-captain Angelo Mathews is the most likely successor, and Jayawardene said his decision to step down was largely borne from a desire to assist Mathews with leadership in Mathews’ first phase as captain. Jayawardene will continue to be available for selection in all forms of cricket.

“I took over the captaincy for 12 months and that ends after this series, so I don’t want to continue to captain Sri Lanka after this tour. This will be my last,” Jayawardene said on the eve of the first Test. “I was going to wait until the end of the series but I thought I might as well do it now, having had a chat to the selectors.”

“I hope I don’t get any more SOS calls from them later on,” he said. “This year has been brilliant. I’ve enjoyed and what I’ve achieved.”

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