Colombo, Feb.27 (ANI): Former Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene, who was hired as England’s batting consultant for next month’s World T20 in India, has described his country’s cricket board President Thilanga Sumathipala’s criticism as ‘disappointing.’
The 38-year-old argued that his ten-day assignment with England is aimed at helping England batsmen improve their techniques in subcontinent conditions and not toward providing any specific tactical information about Sri Lanka.
“My role with England is to help develop their cricketers, and to help with how they should approach different challenges – like playing spin,” Jayawardene was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
“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,” added Jayawardene, who retired from the T20 format in April 2014.
His comments came a day after Sumathipala labelled Jayawardene’s resumption of the England job as ‘sad and disappointing.’
The SLC chief had remarked that Jayawardene’s association with England could lead to the information on Sri Lankan team being leaked to the overseas side, adding that a ‘cooling off period’ of at least 24 months was appropriate before players joined opposition sides in a coaching or advisory role.
“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,” Jayawardene said while contesting the SLC chief’s allegations.
Sri Lanka are scheduled to play against England on March 26 in the group stage contest of the T20 pinnacle event. (ANI)