Sri Lanka president unimpressed by Jayawardene defection


Sri Lanka Cricket president Thilanga Sumathipala has criticised Mahela Jayawardene for taking a role in the England coaching set-up for the World Twenty20.

Jayawardene has been employed as a batting consultant by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) since ending his illustrious international career last year.

The former Sri Lanka captain will work with England's batsmen again during the World T20, which starts in India on March 8.

And Sumathipala does not believe Jayawardene, who helped his country win the event two years ago as a player, should have been allowed to take such a position given England will face the holders in the tournament.

"I had a lot of respect and gratitude for Mahela's knowledge, but now he's advisor to a competing team of ours," Sumathipala is quoted as saying by Cricinfo.

"I'm very disappointed that a national captain, within a few months of retirement, has been retained by another team at a World Cup.

"You could go to a club, a province, an IPL kind of team, or a county. But this is a World Cup. You can't have a player who has just left your country's team joining a competitive nation.

"All the contracted players who are playing, once they retire from the game, should have at least 24 months before joining another team for giving advice or coaching."

He added: "You need that minimum cooling-off period, because you were recently in the team.

"You know the team's strengths and its weaknesses because you're inside the team. You know your team planning ahead of the World Cup. I think I've been very sad and disappointed by this."