The ACB have appointed former Sri Lankan batter Avishka Gunawardene as the batting coach for the upcoming ODIs against Pakistan. This will mark his return to cricket after he was cleared of corruption charges related to allegedly breaching an anti-corruption code at the T10 Tournament in 2017.
Former Sri Lankan opening batter Avishka Gunawardene has been appointed as the batting coach for the Afghanistan cricket team for the upcoming ODIs against Pakistan. As per ESPNcricinfo reports, the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) wanted the former Sri Lankan batter for a longer stint but it hasn’t been materialized yet.
Gunawardene had previously worked as the batting coach for Sri Lanka national men's team and has also coached the Sri Lanka A and upcoming teams. The batter had agreed to only coach the team for the Pakistan series, which will take place in Sri Lanka.
Afghanistan Cricket Board had taken to Twitter to announce the appointment and had tweeted, "Former @OfficialSLC batsman and coach, Avishka Gunawardene has been appointed as Afghanistan National Team's batting coach".
The appointment comes at a difficult time in the country as the Taliban has taken back control of Afghanistan after the withdrawal of the US troops. Though everything seems uncertain at the moment, cricket is expected to take place as scheduled, stated ACB President Hamid Shinwari.
"We will resume our office from tomorrow and the national camp which was underway ahead of the Pakistan series in Sri Lanka will also resume after a two-day break with the change in regime," Shinwari told PTI.
Shinwari stated how the team is expected to fly to Sri Lanka over the next two weeks for the ODI Series and that all three ODIs against Pakistan will take place in Hambantota.
Gunawardane has had a controversial past. He had faced charges for allegedly breaching the Emirates Cricket Board’s anti-corruption code at the T10 tournament that took place in the UAE back in 2017. But after an investigation by an independent court, Gunawardene was cleared of all charges and was allowed to resume his work.