Sri Lankan great Mahela Jayawardene is to join England as a batting consultant.
By Jack Vittles – Lead Cricket Writer – @JackVSport
The former Sri Lankan skipper clocked up almost 12,000 Test runs in a career that spanned 17 years.
ESPNCricinfo reported that Jayawardene will link up with the England squad during the preparation and duration of the limited overs and Test tour of the UAE to face Pakistan later this year.
England’s interest in Jayawardene may well have arisen due to their upcoming schedule. They tour the UAE in October and November, as well as touring India and Bangladesh in the next 18 months. The World T20 will also take place in India in the first half of next year.
Jayawardene’s knowledge of both sub-continental pitches and Asian style players will be vital if England are to succeed with the bat on their tough assignments. Their previous tour to the UAE ended in embarrassment as they slumped to a 3-0 defeat as their batting was systematically destroyed by the spin duo of Saeed Ajmal and Abdur Rehman.
Whilst Jayawardene’s appointment is a coup for England, it will be met with a sense of disappointment in Sri Lanka. The island nation are struggling to tap into the knowledge of many of their greatest cricketers, and Jayawardene’s role with England will only widen the gap between the current crop of players and senior figures.