Desperate Sri Lanka turn to Mahela | Sunday Observer

Desperate Sri Lanka turn to Mahela

26 September, 2021
Mahela Jayawardena: Another team consultant
Mahela Jayawardena:Another team consultant

Former Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardena has become the latest addition to a string of experts taking care of a cricket team that will head for what is being called the T20 World Cup with absolutely nothing the brag about while occupying a position below even the underdogs Afghanistan.

Sri Lanka Cricket took pride in a media statement saying that Jayawardena’s entry as (another) team consultant was made on the advice of its Technical Committee that will help the team overcome its challenges in having to first qualify by beating teams like Namibia, Ireland and the Netherlands.

Australia, England, New Zealand, West Indies, India, Pakistan, South Africa and Afghanistan have already qualified.

Jayawardena retired after the 50-over World Cup in 2015 and is now the coach of the franchise team Mumbai Indians who are sixth in the eight-team points table with five defeats from nine games in the IPL now taking place in the UAE where the T20 World Cup will also take place.

Sri Lanka Cricket said Jayawardena will move from what is being called a coronavirus shield Bubble to another as he joins the team for the three matches on October 18 (Namibia), 20 (Ireland) and 22 (Netherlands).

“We are very happy to welcome Mahela into his new roles as his presence with the Sri Lanka team and the U19 team is going to help the players immensely,’’ said Ashley de Silva, CEO of Sri Lanka Cricket.

“From his playing days, Mahela was respected for the vast cricketing knowledge he brought into the game, first as a player, then as a captain, now as a coach for different teams,’’ de Silva further added.

Jayawardena had previously declined to play a part at Sri Lanka Cricket.