Former Sri Lanka batter and current head coach of IPL franchise Mumbai Indians (MI), Mahela Jayawardena will now be joining the Sri Lankan national cricket team for the first round matches of the upcoming T20 World Cup 2021 in UAE and Oman.
Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has taken this decision citing Jayawardena’s track record with five-time champions MI along with his inputs about UAE tracks considering the ICC showpiece event will also be held in the middle east followed by IPL 2021.
Additionally, after his stint with the senior cricket team, the right-hand batter will be joining the U-19 side for the upcoming ICC U19 World Cup in West Indies.
Jayawardena will be joining the island nation’s senior team for a period of seven days between October 16-23 while his tenure with the under 19 team will last for five months, the ICC said on Friday.
Jayawardena will be joining the Sri Lankan team after the conclusion of IPL 2021. As far as his appointment is concerned, the SLC CEO Ashley De Silva said that the board was immensely delighted and believed the 44-year-old’s presence will help their team a lot.
“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. 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,” a statement by Ashley De Silva read.
As far as the former Sri Lanka skipper Jayawardena is concerned, he represented the island nation in 149 Tests, 448 ODIs along with 55 T20Is, and finished as Sri Lanka’s second-highest scorer in Test cricket with 11814 runs, 34 centuries, and 50 half-centuries.