Colombo: Mahela Jayawardene said he has taken up the Sri Lanka captaincy for a short term and rejected rumours that there was an internal bickering in the side.
"I took up the captaincy once again, for one-year. Our target is to win matches, to regain our place as one of the top-four Test playing nations," Jayawardene told reporters in Colombo.
"We have failed as a team in the past. But we have to look beyond that and move forward. We face India and Australia next month. We need to take the positives from South Africa and focus on winning matches again."
Jayawardene captained the team between 2006 and 2009 before making way to Kumar Sangakkara. Immediately after Sri Lanka`s loss to India on the world cup final last April, both of them resigned leading to Thilakaratne Dilshan`s appointment as captain. Jayawardene dismissed rumours that internal politics between players had affected the team morale, leading to defeats.
"Kumar (Sangakkara) is the number one batsman in the world. It is ridiculous to think that he would under-perform due to internal politics," Jayawardene said.
Responding to Sri Lankan decision to sack Geoff Marsh as coach and replace him with Graham Ford, Jayawardene said "That is not my area. That is up to the selectors. My focus is to work with what I have got. Graham is experienced, and we need his services to rebuild, harness new players and win games.”
The outgoing captain Dilshan said Marsh gave more than 100 percent" to the team and declined to comment further on the issue.
Asked about his sacking as captain, Dilshan said he had been only picked captain until the South African tour and he was happy to see Jayawardene back as captain.