Mahela ‘disappointed’ by criticism by SLC


Former Sri Lanka batsman Mahela Jayawardene has reacted to criticism from the Sri Lanka Cricket board over his consultancy role with England at the World Twenty20, saying they have no right to have an opinion.

SLC president Thilanga Sumathipala had criticised Jayawardene's decision to help England with their batting at the upcoming event, given they are in the same group as Sri Lanka.  

Sumathipala felt Mahela had too much insider information, and should have shown loyalty to his former team. He felt a longer 'cooling off period' was required since the batsman's retirement two years ago.

But Mahela found this laughable, saying he agreed to the role well before the groups were revealed, and that he wasn't hired as some sort of spy or fount of knowledge about Sri Lanka's players.

Jayawardene said, as quoted by Cricinfo: "My role with England is to help develop their cricketers, and to help with how they should approach different challenges – like playing spin.

"The pools hadn't been decided when I agreed to do it. England didn't hire me to give information on the Sri Lankan team. They have analysts and coaches to do that.

"I'm quite disappointed to see those comments from the board, to be fair."

He added: "By the World T20, I would have been out of the one-day team for 12 months, and out of the T20 team almost two years. If the tactics of that dressing room haven't moved on in that time – if they are still playing the same way – then there's a problem, isn't it?

"There are also a lot of new players in this Sri Lanka team that I haven't played with. But even for the guys like Angelo Mathews, or Lasith Malinga, or Dinesh Chandimal, isn't the challenge to keep evolving?"