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The Matara maverick

DECCAN CHRONICLE | SURUCHI KAPUR-GOMES
Published Oct 13, 2015, 5:50 am IST
Updated Mar 27, 2019, 12:26 pm IST
An interview with Sanath Jayasuriya, who was in town for the launch of the Video Game Festival
In a still from Jhalak Dikhla Ja, in which he participated
 In a still from Jhalak Dikhla Ja, in which he participated

Called the Matara Marauder, his willow did most of his ‘out-of-the-park’ explosive batting. His pertinent spin bowling did the rest! Sanath Jayasuriya, the iconic Sri Lankan cricketer with 13,430 ODI runs under his strokeful belt, and among the best on the pitch, was in the city as the Brand Ambassador for the Video Game Festival 2015 and Dumadu Games. In Bengaluru, he came willow in hand, well virtually atleast — as he piped in his famed Sri Lankan drawl, “In town for Dumadu Games. Gaming, I admit is quite a new hobby for me — it is a new generation thing, but many people are hardcore gamers and it’s going to get even more bigger now.

I am happy to be here and be a part of it. I have personally enjoyed playing video games. I do play when I get the time, the Brian Lara game Dream Run — I’ll definitely be playing it when I get back to Sri Lanka.”

 

The player who is known to be a practicing Buddhist and also meditates, has a special place for Bengaluru in his heart, “I love the Bangalore weather. This city’s climate most definitely makes me come back, again and again. I also have quite a few friends here — A lot of Sri Lankans and Indians,” says the June born champion.

After retiring from ODI cricket in 2011, the ultimate all rounder, Jayasuriya, has been busy building a business empire, and even had his political aspirations answered when he was deputy minister for local government and postal services earlier on. “The past two months have been busy — I was in South Africa, My work at home keeps me very very busy. I have Qbaa — a lounge in Sri Lanka. That is one among the many businesses that take my time. I also have a brewery distribution. I am busy with Geotel, my telecom company. It’s a busy life, and it keeps me satisfied,” says the approachable man who is considered among the best ODI batsmen in the world.

When he does find the time, he likes to play cricket, train and even plays a bit of T20 now. “I love reading news papers and watching the news. I practice when ever I can find the time,” Jayasuriya says.

His home in Matara is that special space where Sanath unwinds and rejuvenates. The thrice-married cricketer, married Sri Lankan actress and model Maleeka Sirisenage in 2013. “Matara is where I have always relaxed. I love it there, and try and spend as much time as I can with my parents and family. My children are with me there and that is very important to me, and I like looking after them when ever I am there — they are a huge priority in my life. They love cricket too,” he smiles.

The man who is the UN Goodwill Ambassador speaks about something very close to his heart, “I am working with the UN to spread awareness of HIV-AIDS, we do a lot of activities and workshops in schools and villages. I personally go there to spread the word and create a climate for change,” he concludes.

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