World Cup 2019: Mahela Jayawardene refuses Sri Lanka Cricket’s offer to help the team

SLC was hoping Mahela after a successful IPL stint would help the national team.

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Mahela Jayawardene
Mahela Jayawardene. (Photo: IANS)

Sri Lanka are struggling to even find a stable playing XI to field in the World Cup, a new captain has been brought into place. The former champions are anything but a unit prepared for such a challenge. Amidst all that, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) approached former captain Mahela Jayawardene to take up a role with the team for the tournament. Mahela recently coached the Mumbai Indians team in the IPL and they lifted the record 4th title.

The reason for Mahela’s reluctant to take up any role with Sri Lankan cricket is disillusionment with the general position of the game in the emerald island. The board’s offer was in accordance with their efforts to get the former cricketers to take up positions in the management of the SLC and overhaul the state of the game in the country. Sri Lankan cricket has been in a constant state of decline, despite the recent Test series win in South Africa.

“I was (invited) but I have several other commitments. More than that, I didn’t understand the role I am expected to play. There’s no point in me getting involved tactically, or whatever if I don’t have a say in the whole structure. The team is selected and everything is done and dusted. There is no room for me to come in and add something,” Jayawardene confirmed the same as quoted by India Today.

His discontent with SLC stems from the time when he, along with former captains Kumar Sangakkara, and Aravinda de Silva were asked to submit plans and proposals to make the board and country’s domestic cricket structure better. However, the report was completely ignored, which saw their work being wasted.

“I am still happy to contribute in my little way with the management of the team, but nothing to do with the SLC. We created a professional cricketing structure spending eight months and offered to set it up for them but they rejected it. We did it because we don’t want to lose our cricketers going to Australia and to league cricket in England. We need those experienced players in our system,” Jayawardene further elaborated the reasons behind him refusing to work with the board.

Also read- ICC World Cup 2019: 10 legends of the game who never won the trophy

The Sri Lankan team played its first warm-up game in the World Cup against South Africa and will begin their campaign in the main draw against New Zealand on June 1.

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