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Jayawardene To Step Down As Sri Lankan Captain

Mahela Jayawardene is to step down as Sri Lankan captain following the team's tour to Pakistan which begins later this month.

Jayawardene called a meeting with the national selectors, outlining his belief that the time was right to hand over the captaincy reigns to give his successor the chance to build a team for the 2011 World Cup.

"In the best interests of the Sri Lanka team, I have decided to stand down as Sri Lanka captain after this Pakistan tour," Jayawardene's statement read.

"This is something I have been considering for some time as it has been my long-held belief that my successor should have at least 18 months in the job to imprint his vision on the team for the 2011 World Cup. After much thought, I have concluded that the right time has now come for fresh leadership to takeover.

"It was not an easy decision to make because being Sri Lanka National Captain has been the source of enormous pride. I am very grateful to have been granted the honour of leading the team during the last three years."

Jayawardene boasts an impressive record as captain, winning more than half of his 27 Tests and 97 ODIs in charge, which makes him the most successful Test captain in terms of win ratio. He averaged 64.70 in Tests in charge and 34.22 in ODIs.

"I would like to extend a special thank-you to my team-mates for making the job so easy and fulfilling, to the SLC officials and selectors that placed their faith in me, and to family, friends and fans who have provided so much support. I look forward now to extending my full support to my successor and hope to play a major part in the team's success during coming years as a batsman," Jayawardene added.

Jayawardene also led Sri Lanka to the World Cup final in 2007, where they lost to Australia.

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