The former captain of Sri Lanka, Mahela Jayawarden Sunday, said he was disappointed with the state of cricket in the country and, thus, refused the offer to participate in the World Team Championship.
Jayawardene, who recently led the Mumbai Indians to their fourth victory in the Indian Premier League, has in the past submitted plans to change the country’s internal cricket system, only for proposals to be rejected by Sri Lanka cricket.
“I was (invited), but I have several other obligations. Moreover, I did not understand what role was expected of me, ”said Jayawarden in an interview with the Sri Lankan newspaper The Sunday Times.
“It makes no sense for me to intervene tactically or something else if I do not have the right to vote in the whole structure. The team is selected and everything is done and cleaned. I have no place to enter and add something. ”
The committee, which included Jayawarden, former cricketers Kumar Sangakkara and Aravinda de Silva, prepared a report with recommendations on management as well as on the internal structure for the SLC last year. However, these recommendations were rejected by the board of directors.
“We have created a professional cricket structure, having spent eight months. We offered to set it up for them, but they turned it down. We did this because we do not want to lose our cricketers going to Australia and to the cricket championship in England. We need these experienced players in our system, ”said Jayawarden.
The right batsman emphasized that older players are needed to lead the younger generation.
“Without these senior cricketers, we cannot build our younger generation. In our first-class system, there are several teams whose average age is 25 years, which is sad. When we played, we had a lot of senior cricketers. Without them in our system, we will not be able to build a strong internal cricket structure. ”
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The 41-year-old footballer advised the Sri Lankan team going to the World Cup to treat every game like “come on or die”
“The thing with Sri Lanka is that when they are pushed to the wall, they always feel good. Simply, these players must believe that they can. When you go to the World Cup, you must treat each game as a knockout game. That’s why I said that if they want to win five games, they have very good chances to get into the top four. ”
“So, a good start, it will always help, and try to create such an opportunity. Then these match winners can come into play, ”he said.
When asked about the World Championships, Jayawarden chose England, Australia, India and Pakistan as strong rivals.
“Given the strength and form, England, India and Australia have bowlers and, perhaps, Pakistan, because they excelled in England in the last two world championships. They are quite an impressive composition, especially with bowling. “