Colombo, Feb.11 (ANI): Sri Lanka's cricket captain Mahela Jayawardene resigned from the post on Wednesday.
The Sri Lanka Cricket Board sources said Jayawardene decided to quit the captaincy from both forms of cricket after the Test series against Pakistan.
Sri Lanka was handed a 4-1 drubbing by India in the recently concluded One-day series during which Jayawardene's lacklusture performance was criticised by top cricket officials, The Colombo Times reports.
Sri Lanka Cricket CEO Duleep Mendis said Jayawardene's decision had been accepted and a new captain would be appointed for the one-day home series against Zimbabwe, which follows the Pakistan tour.
Jayawardene, who sat out Sri Lanka's Twenty20 international against India on Tuesday, called for a meeting with the selectors on Wednesday morning and proposed that the time was right to hand over the captaincy, ensuring his successor had sufficient time to build the team for the 2011 World Cup. He was asked to reconsider but reiterated the time was right, given the heavy season ahead.
He then met Mendis and informed his teammates.
"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," Jayawardene said in a statement.
"I have concluded that the time has come for fresh leadership to takeover. It was not an easy decision to make because being the Sri Lanka captain has been the source of enormous pride. I hope to play a major part in the team's success as a batsman," he said.
Wicket-keeper batsman Kumar Sangakkara, who is vice-captain of the squad, is likely to replace Jayawardene.
Jayawardene was appointed ODI captain in 2004 and took over the Test captaincy from Marvan Atapattu in 2006.
One of his major achievements was taking Sri Lanka to the 2007 World Cup where it was defeated by Australia. In 2008, Sri Lanka won the Asia Cup defeating India in the final.
Jayawardene led the side in 94 one-day internationals, winning 54 and losing 35.
He led the Lankan squad in 26 Tests, winning 15 and losing seven.
Despite his recent poor form in, he remains a prolific run-getter in the longer version of the game averaging 64.70 as captain. (ANI)