Colombo: Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has expressed disappointment at former captain Mahela Jayawardene taking up the role of consultant with the England team for the upcoming ICC World Twenty20. (England Seek Mahela Jayawardene as Consultant for Limited-Overs Cricket)
Jayawardena is to continue his batting mentor’s role with the England team, a job he had already performed with them in the UAE in the last series against Pakistan.
“A cricketer joining another nation so close to his retirement is not a good thing, SLC chairman Thilanga Sumathipala told reporters.
The former legendary batsman has however, Jayawardene however, rebutted by saying that Sumathipala’s questioning of his ethics was “laughable”.
Sumathipala was of the view that recently retired cricketers shouldn’t be allowed to work as an expert for another team for at least a period of two years.
“I am of the view that a player who retires from international cricket should not be allowed to work as an expert of another team at least for a period of two years,” Sumathipala said.
“This is because he will be aware of inside information on strengths and weaknesses. These are strategic secrets. This is a question of ethics in sport not anything personally against Mahela Jayawardena. I respect him for his vast knowledge of the game.”
Jayawardena retired from international cricket in 2014 and since then Sri Lanka’s international rankings have nose-dived.
Jayawardene meanwhile, said that ‘England didn’t hire him to give information on the Sri Lankan team.’
“My role with England is to help develop their cricketers, and to help with how they should approach different challenges – like playing spin,” Jayawardene said.
“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 was quoted as saying in Cricinfo.