Former Sri Lank captain Mahela Jayawardene has been roped in as the consultant of the country’s national team for the first round of the upcoming T20 World Cup in the UAE and Oman. Sri Lanka will have to fight it out with Ireland, Namibia and Netherlands before entering the Super 12s round.
The decision by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has been taken keeping in mind Jayawardene’s tremendous track record with Mumbai Indians and the inputs he can provide about the UAE conditions after the completion of the ongoing 14th edition of the Indian Premier Leaue (IPL) in the Gulf nation.
Also, the Sri Lankan batting great will act as a consultant and a mentor for the U-19 side after his stint with the senior squad in the build-up to the ICC Under-19 World Cup 2022 in West Indies.
"Jayawardena, who is currently the Head Coach of the Mumbai Indians, will join the Sri Lanka team in UAE (Bio Bubble to Bio Bubble) immediately after the completion of the ongoing Indian Premier League.
"He will share his vast experience and provide invaluable strategic support for the players and management team during a 7-day period from 16-23 October when the team will play Namibia, Ireland, and the Netherlands as they seek to qualify for the Group Stages," a statement from SLC said.
"Jayawardena has also accepted an invitation to be a Consultant and Mentor for the Sri Lanka Under 19 as it prepares for next year’s ICC Under 19 World Cup in the West Indies.
"His 5-month role with the U19 Team will be performed in an ‘Honorary’ capacity," it added.
On his appointment, a statement by the Sri Lankan Cricket Board CEO Ashley De Silva read, “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.”
During an illustrious career for Sri Lanka, Jayawardene represented his national side in 149 Tests, 448 ODIs, and 55 T20Is. The 44-year-old finished as Sri Lanka’s second highest run-scorer in Test cricket with 11,814 runs, 34 centuries, and 50 fifties.