Although many may see him as a short form specialist, his domestic records say otherwise; he has 16 First Class hundreds (including a double hundred) and 12 5 wicket hauls under his name. In the most recently concluded 1st class tournament, Tamil Union emerged victorious and Jeevan was a crucial cog in the champion machine, claiming 32 wickets and scoring 574 runs as well. In fact, his dream as a kid was always to represent Sri Lanka in the Test arena.
When the dream became a reality
Jeevan describes October 2nd 2010 as the happiest day of his life; the day he and his wife Vanessa welcomed their 1st child, Jayden, into their lives. The day was made all the more sweeter when the long awaited call came, telling him he had been picked to tour with the Sri Lanka national team.
He made his debut in Harare against Zimbabwe and enjoyed a prolonged stint in both the ODI and T20 national squads over the next couple of years. With established batsmen already in the team, Jeevan played more of a utility role in the line-up, maintaining a floating batting position and coming into bowl 2 or 3 over spells. He was one who was fortunate enough to play under two of Sri Lanka’s most highly regarded players, Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara.
He had high praise for the pair’s leadership, expressing that the key to the team’s success at the time was that the two, more often than not, took on the responsibility of getting the runs on the board while allowing the rest of the team to play around them.
It was under Jayawardene’s captaincy that Jeevan got the opportunity to play in a global tournament – the 2012 ICC World Twenty20, which was played in Sri Lanka. Speaking of the feeling in the camp back then he said,
“People expected a lot from us and at that time we were so confident during that tournament, we were all playing together and trusting each other. Even if we lost 4 early wickets, we were confident that the other players would come in and do the job.”
When asked about if it was hard playing a big tournament in front of a home crowd he said,
“It’s always a pleasure to play at home, especially Khettarama and Kandy. It’s the way you take it (the expectation), when you are not confident, it is of course a pressure but when you’re enjoying the game, it helps also.”
He smiles ruefully when I bring up the final against the West Indies,
“I remember when I was fielding at the boundary line, at 10 overs, they were 32/2, and I was thinking ‘aparaadey, they will not even score 100’ because I wanted to go in and hit the winning run….. and then we were losing…… That day, he (Marlon Samuels) was hitting any bowler”