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Saturday, 28 September, 2002, 16:27 GMT 17:27 UK
De Silva asked to play on
Aravinda de Silva leaves the field after winning the final
De Silva starred in Sri Lanka's 1996 World Cup win
Veteran Sri Lankan batsman Aravinda de Silva has been urged to reconsider his intention to quit international cricket after next year's World Cup.

De Silva announced his decision after playing a key role in Sri Lanka's semi-final victory against Australia in the Champions Trophy.

The 36-year-old has played 286 one-day internationals in the past 18 years and was the hero of Sri Lanka's 1996 World Cup victory.


There are some good youngsters coming through in Sri Lankan cricket and I would like to go out on a high note
Aravinda de Silva

"I am definitely going to finish after the World Cup." said De Silva.

"I have to speak to selectors and see if they want me for the World Cup. There are some good youngsters coming through in Sri Lankan cricket and I would like to go out on a high note."

Sri Lanka coach Dav Whatmore and captain Sanath Jayasuriya responded by saying they want De Silva to carry on his international career after the World Cup.

"I recognise he's got a family life and a business life and it's the weighing up of those factors that's probably got him to make his assessment of where he is at the moment and where he would like to go," Whatmore said.

"I just think that playing with us up to and through the World Cup must be a minimum amount of cricket he should play.


Personally I think he can play on a lot more
Sri Lanka captain Sanath Jayasuriya

"From my point of view as a coach he's been wonderful to the team.

"It's the experience he brings, not just with bat and ball but also in areas that are difficult to quantify.

"It's in the team room, the team meetings, the dressing rooms, the bus travel. It's that extra experience, that calming influence and it's an asset that means I hope he plays on as long as he can."

Jayasuriya added: "Personally I think he can play on a lot more."

De Silva reached the pinnacle of his career when he won four Man of the Match awards during the 1996 World Cup.

His scintillating unbeaten century helped his side beat Australia in the final.

And he was on hand to dog Australia again in Friday's ICC Champions Trophy semi-final, conceding just 16 runs in 10 overs of off-spin and claiming the wicket of Matthew Hayden.

De Silva's career has no been without controversy, though.

Indian investigators accused him of match-fixing in 2000, but his name was later cleared by the Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka.

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BBC Sport's Kate Delautour
"De Silva wants to make way for younger players"
Cricket World Cup 2003 begins on 8 February in South Africa

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