Former Sri Lankan captains Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara feel speedster Lasith Malinga has taken the right decision by retiring from test cricket.
The Kochi Tuskers Kerala skipper said Malinga has been suffering from this injury for quite some time and quitting Test cricket would help his dream of playing for Sri Lanka in the World Cup 2015.
The 33-year-old also dispelled the notion that Malinga''s decision was prompted by comments made by a section of the Sri Lankan cricket administration regarding his participation in IPL while declaring himself unfit for the country''s upcoming Test tour of England.
"I feel he has taken the right decision after pondering over all aspects. He has been suffering from this knee injury for quite some time," Jayawardene told reporters on the eve of their IPL match against Rajasthan Royals.
"I know when I was the captain we used to try and calculate his work load and used him accordingly. At times it used to flare up and once he was away from cricket for 16 months.
"In order to extend his career he has to quit test cricket. In fact his target is the next world cup in 2015 and by bidding adieu to tests he has prolonged his career in the shorter version of the game.
"He worked hard to make a fine comeback and is performing brilliantly. He has realised that he can''t sustain that huge work load and perhaps has prolonged his career [by qutting the longer version]. I am very happy for him," said the Sri Lankan skipper.
Wicketkeeper Kumar Sangakkara on Saturday rubbished talks that Malinga had chosen IPL over national duties when announcing his retirement from Test cricket and said critics should not question his professional commitment.
"It gets confusing when people try and take sides. It can happen when some people criticise Malinga for picking IPL over country. That is all nonsense to me. There is never a stage where Lasith can ever pick IPL over country. Malinga is a dedicated no-nonsense cricketer. He is the toughest no-nonense cricketer I have ever met," Sangakkara told a news channel.
"I don't think there was ever a question Lasith did not want to play Test cricket. He wanted to play in all three formats of the game.
"Unfortunately for him, his body was not able to stand the rigours of Test cricket. He is a guy who gives everything when on the field. So you can't question his commitment. He does not think about the next match or the next series. He only thinks about doing well in that particular match," he added.
Malinga, whose slinging action and devastating yorkers proved to be a nightmare for batsmen the world over, announced his retirement from Test cricket on Friday because of a "long-standing degenerative" knee injury.
The surprise announcement from the fastest bowler ever produced by Sri Lanka, was interpreted as a move to put an end to the selection dispute with the cricket establishment which wanted him to return from the IPL for a rehabilitation programme.
Malinga, who pulled out of Sri Lanka's upcoming Test tour of England citing fitness woes but is leading the wicket tally for Mumbai Indians in the ongoing IPL, clarified that the condition stops him from playing in the Test format only.
"The injury was a career-threatening injury and my orthopaedic surgeon was of the opinion that given his experience with other professional athletes in Australia I was very fortunate to play again," the fast bowler had said in a statement.
"I have since been advised by the national team physiotherapist and my orthopaedic consultant that my condition will deteriorate when fielding or bowling for prolonged periods," he continued.
Sangakkara, skipper of the Deccan Chargers, said the pacer had been suffering from this injury for quite some time and quitting Test cricket would help him concentrate in other two formats of the game.
"His decision was not a surprise to me. He had spoken about it in January this year and looking at his long-term future for Sri Lanka, I think it's the right decision for him taken at the right time.
"We would love to have him playing Test cricket but he has got a condition that he is not going to get better. More Test matches for him might actually mean end of his career.
It's a huge decision that he has taken and a very tough one."
Sangakkara said had the Sri Lankan cricket Board (SLC) forced him to play Test cricket, the country would have lost him as a fast bowler many years ago.
"We did want him to play against India. He was not 100 per cent sure but he came and played and did wonderfully well for us. But it really took a lot out of him. He played the third Test but was left with terrible knee pain and other problems for two months.
"If we had kept asking him to play, we would have lost him as a fast bowler very quickly. It would be a shame not for just the Sri Lankan cricket but for world cricket and Lasith's bright future.
"His playing the IPL in no way jeopardises his chances or commitment towards playing for the country. Lasith will go back [home] after the IPL and selectors will speak to him," he added.