Sri Lanka batting legend Mahela Jayawardena has ruled himself out of running for India coach’s role despite some murmurs to the same doing the rounds. At the same time, Sri Lanka Cricket president Thilanga Sumathipala believes he doesn’t yet have enough experience to take over for the national team following the departure of Graham Ford.
“Mahela is still short of experience as a senior coach, he may be good as a T20 batting or a fielding coach,” Sumathipala told local Neth FM radio. He further added that the former Sri Lanka captain also has some of his playing day contemporaries in the current national side. He called time on his career in 2014 after a glittering career. Since then, he has been part of Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League as a coach.
Ford quit from his post this past week after just one year reportedly due to differences of opinion with Sumathipala’s management. Sri Lanka has suffered ever since the retirement of Jayawardena and Kumar Sangakkara with no one really stepping up and making themselves count. Even in terms of coaches, the Island nation has seen nine interim and permanent coaches since 2011.
Away from Sri Lanka, Jayawardena took to Twitter to rule himself out of contention for the India post which has been left vacant since the resignation of Anil Kumble. “Flattered by speculation linking me to India coaching job but I am not looking at full-time positions right now. I am completely focused on current commitments with MI and Khulna,” he wrote.
Even if Jayawardena does apply for India job, his involvement as Mumbai Indians coach would be considered as a conflict of interest – on the same lines as Rahul Dravid is during his current capacity with Delhi Daredevils and India U-19. The options for SLC as Ford’s replacement are Chandika Hathurusinghe, Stephen Fleming, Scott Styris and Tom Moody.