Dubai [UAE], November 13 (ANI): Former Sri Lanka off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan on Saturday congratulated Mahela Jayawardene for being inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame, calling him as one of the game's great thinkers.
Ahead of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021 final between Australia and New Zealand, Janette Brittin, Mahela Jayawardene and Shaun Pollock were announced as the newest inductees into the prestigious ICC Cricket Hall of Fame.
"Many congratulations on being inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame. This is a great honour for any cricketer - to be recognised for achievements over a long period of time. It is something we cricketers truly strive for. We have been lucky enough to have done something we love, passionately, throughout our careers. So, to be included among the all-time greats in such fashion is something truly incredible and to be cherished forever," Muralitharan wrote in an open letter, congratulating Jayawardene, as reported by ICC's official website.
"It's a lifetime award and it shows the respect you have gained over the years from your friends, competitors and the ICC, so seeing your name added to the list is special. That's what was great about you. 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," he added.
Mahela Jayawardene retired as one of Sri Lanka's greatest ever players, a key member of the team that won the ICC Men's T20 World Cup in 2014 and reached four other major ICC finals.
"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. When you became captain, it was your calmness that was key because some players can get so excited. But when you get excited, you can make wrong decisions, so it was that calmness that put you in the right place - I think that is why you are doing a fabulous job as coach," said Jayawardene.
"You are one of the game's great thinkers - you have already excelled as a coach because of it and having worked in international cricket for 20 years, that experience of knowing how to handle situations is there. As a coach, you have to think like a captain so it should it be no surprise that you have made that transition so easily. Make sure that by the end of your career, we are in awe of you as a coach in the same way we remember you as a player - one of the all-time greats," he added. (ANI)