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Cricket Buzz: Jayawardene declines Sri Lanka's World Cup offer

May 26, 2019 18:32 IST

Sri Lanka

IMAGE: Mahela Jayawardene advised the Sri Lankan team heading to the World Cup to treat every game as a do or die match. Photograph: Cricket Sri Lanka/Twitter

Former Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene, on Sunday, said he felt disillusioned with the state of cricket in the country and thus declined an offer to play a role in the team's World Cup campaign.

Jayawardene, who recently guided Mumbai Indians to their fourth Indian Premier League victory, has in the past presented plans to change the country's domestic cricket system, only for the proposals to be rejected by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC).

 

"I was (invited), but I have several other commitments. More than that, I didn't understand the role I am expected to play," Jayawardene told Sri Lankan newspaper, The Sunday Times.

"There's no point in me getting involved tactically, or whatever, if I don't have a say in the whole structure. The team is selected and everything is done and dusted. There is no room for me to come in and add something."

A committee including Jayawardene, former cricketers Kumar Sangakkara and Aravinda de Silva had produced a report with recommendations on governance as well as domestic structure to the SLC last year. However, these recommendations were rejected by the board.

"We created a professional cricketing structure spending eight months. We offered to set it up for them but they rejected it. We did it because we don't want to lose our cricketers going to Australia and to league cricket in England. We need those experienced players in our system," Jayawardene said.

The right-hand batsman emphasised that senior players are necessary to guide the younger generation.

"Without those senior cricketers we cannot build our younger generation. There are some teams in our first classsystem where the average age is 25, which is sad. When we played, we had many senior cricketers to guide us. Without them in our system, we cannot build a strong domestic cricket structure."

The 41-year-old advised the Sri Lankan team heading to the World Cup to treat every game as a do or die match.

"The thing with Sri Lanka is, when they are pushed to the wall, they have always done well. It's just that these players should believe they can. When you go to a World Cup, you need to treat every game as a knockout game. That's why I said, if they target themselves to win five games, they have a very good chance of getting into the top four."

"So, get a good start, that's always going to help, and try and create that opportunity. Then those match winners can come into play," he said.

Asked about the World Cup, Jayawardene picked hosts England, Australia, India and Pakistan as strong contenders.

"Given the strength and form, England, India and Australia have the bowlers and probably Pakistan because they have done well in England in the last two World Cups. They are a quite a formidable line up, especially with their bowling unit."

Easwaran, Amolpreet put India 'A' in command against Sri Lanka 'A'

Abhimanyu Easwaran's double ton and Amolpreet Singh's century helped India 'A' post an imposing 622 for five declared against Sri Lanka 'A' in the first unofficial Test, in Belagavi, on Sunday.

At stumps on day two, Sri Lanka 'A' were in deep trouble at 83 for four, trailing India 'A' by 539 runs, with Ashan Priyanjan and Niroshan Dickwella batting on 22 runs each.

In reply to the hosts' mammoth total, Sri Lanka 'A' lost Sangeet Coorey (0), Sadeera Samarawickrama (31), Pathum Nissanka (6) and Bhanuka Rajapaksha (0).

Coorey and Samarawickrama were snapped up by Sandeep Warrier, while Nissanka and Priyanjan were scalped by Shivam Dube.

Resuming at the overnight score of 376 for one, Easwaran (233), who was batting on 189, reached to his double century in the first session by adding 44 runs before he was adjudged LBW to Akila Dhananjaya. He hit 22 boundaries and three sixes during his 321-ball knock.

Easwaran also shared 82 runs for the third wicket with Amolpreet, who made 116 runs off 165 balls with the help of 11 boundaries.

After the fall of Easwaran, Lakshman Sandakan disturbed the timbers of Ricky Bhui for one.

Amolpreet and Siddesh Lad then came into the party and stitched 147 runs for fifth wicket to take India 'A' forward.

Lad was in a belligerent mood as he massacred Sri Lanka 'A' bowlers to all parts of the ground. He made quick 76 runs off 89 balls and struck six boundaries and a six in the process.

Earlier, Jayant Yadav (8) was the first India 'A' batsman to be dismissed after the hosts had added 14 runs to their overnight score. 

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