All-rounder Thilan Samaraweera on Monday said Sri Lanka would provide a decent send-off for Mahela Jayawardene,who steps down as skipper after the two-Test series against Pakistan.
“I think we will give a good farewell to Mahela as captain,” Samaraweera told reporters after team’s practice session here. “Everyone knows his record as captain and he deserves a befitting farewell.”
Jayawardene last week took the shock decision to step down from the captaincy after the Pakistan Tests,saying poor batting form in a recent 4-1 one-day defeat against India had been a deciding factor.
The middle-order batsman,who has scored just one half-century in his last 17 one-day innings,said he would give up the captaincy so that his successor could build a team for the 2011 World Cup.
Sri Lanka arrived in Karachi on Monday. They start a two-day warm-up match tomorrow against Patron’s XI,led by Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi.
The first Test starts here on February 21. The second is scheduled for Lahore from March 1.
The 32-year-old Samaraweera,a regular in Test matches,said Pakistan would be tough opponents.
“Pakistan have a lot of good cricketers. They have good fast bowlers and in Danish Kaneria they have a very good leg-spinner. It’s going to be a big challenge,but we are looking forward to it.”
Samaraweera is regarded as an adhesive middle-order batsman,having scored 2,800 runs in 47 Tests at an impressive average of 45.16,with seven centuries.
Samaraweera said he hoped to continue his batting form on the Pakistan tour.
“I am gearing up for the challenge and will do my best to contribute in the overall performance of the team,” said Samaraweera.
The Test will be Pakistan’s first in 14 months,after Australia and India refused to tour the country over security fears.
Pakistan played its last Test in India in December 2007.
Their last home Test was against South Africa in October 2007.