You don't have to be ugly to play aggressive cricket: Mahela

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> One doesn't have to be ugly to be aggressive in cricket, according to SL captain Mahela Jayawardane as he received the ICC Spirit of the Game award.

Updated: February 11, 2009 12:51 IST
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One doesn't have to be ugly to be aggressive in cricket, according to Sri Lankan cricket captain Mahela Jayawardane as he received the International Cricket Council (ICC) Spirit of the Game 2008 award.

"You don't have to be ugly to be aggressive on the cricket field," Jayawardene said after receiving the award at the ICC annual awards gala here late Wednesday.

This was the second consecutive time that Sri Lanka won the award.

"The captain has to set the example but at the same time every player in the team has to take responsibility and play the game in the right spirit," Jayawardene said.

"You have to be aggressive and passionate when you play for your country - you have to want to win. But you don't have to cross the line and be personal. There are ways of being aggressive while still controlling your anger and passion."

He said that it felt great to receive the trophy as it was a team award.

"It's a team thing, isn't it?" Jayawardene said speaking to reporters after receiving the award.

"If you perform individually without your teammates, it becomes quite difficult. And to win this after winning it the last time is a great honour."

Asked about an incident in the fifth one-dayer between India and Sri Lanka in August 2008 in which the Lankans were seen giving a "send-off" to Indian opener Gautam Gambhir after having dismissed him, Jayawardene said: "It wasn't really a send-off. We just felt that he (Gambhir) was out and he did not walk."

Gambhir was on 11 when he was adjudged caught behind by Kumara Sangakarra off Nuwan Kulasekara. Sri Lanka won that match by 112 runs under the Duckworth-Lewis method while India went on to win the series 3-2.

Averring that the incident was just a spur of the moment thing, Jayawardene said: "We just had a chat with him."

He said Gambhir said he did not think he was out but then he was told to abide by the umpire's decision.

"That's all we said. That's why I say you don't have to be ugly. You have to do it in the right manner so that you can put the message across."

The Sri Lankan captain, however, added that he was not a strong believer in walking.

"No, not really. I don't believe that people should walk," he said.

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