Mahela says NO to coaching the Indian national team - wants to coach Sri Lanka

Saturday, 18 September 2021 - 21:35

Former Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene was offered the top job of being Team India's head coach before it was offered to Anil Kumble by the BCCI according to foreign media reports. But the Mumbai Indians' (MI) coach turned down the offer.

The top management at the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is on the lookout for their next candidate to become the Indian cricket team's next head coach. With current coach Ravi Shastri parting ways with the job at the end of his tenure, after the conclusion of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021 in the UAE and Oman, the high-profile position is up for grabs and is likely to be filled in by a former Indian cricketer only.

However, the top job before being offered to ex-coach Anil Kumble, who is very much in the fray to regain his status back as Team India's head coach, was offered to Sri Lankan cricketing legend Mahela Jayawardene.

Jayawardene was approached due to his iconic individual career as well as the laurels he has achieved as Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Mumbai Indians' (MI) head coach.

According to a report in The Indian Express, the BCCI wanted to rope in the 44-year-old Former Sri Lanka captain as the head coach of the Indian side before offering the role to Kumble, but Jayawardene declined the offer. He reportedly wanted to coach the Sri Lankan national cricket team instead.

Another matter of conflict of interest occurred as Jayawardene is also the coach of the Mumbai Indians (MI) franchise in the IPL, and the BCCI rules clearly state that a person cannot hold another position when he is the head coach of the Men in Blue. Jayawardene will take over the reins of Rohit Sharma-led MI in the IPL 2021 phase-II that starts from tomorrow in the UAE playing their first game against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in Dubai.

According to the Indian Express Newspaper, Mahela Jayawardena has declined the offer citing several reasons.

“Jayawardene, who has guided Mumbai Indians to multiple IPL titles, is said to be interested in coaching the Sri Lankan team, and the IPL franchise. An India coach cannot take up any other cricketing assignment as the new BCCI constitution doesn’t allow any individual to hold two posts at the same time.” The Indian Express Newspaper reported.

Meanwhile, the BCCI has been advertising for the managerial post that is set to be vacated by Shastri immediately after India's T20 World Cup 2021 campaign starting on October 17.

As for Mahela Jayawardene, he was definitely a deemed candidate who fits in for the desired role perfectly well as he was one of the greatest batsmen of his era. In an international career that lasted almost two decades, the right-handed batting great played 149 Test matches and 448 ODIs for Sri Lanka.

He scored 11814 runs in Test match cricket and like a champion cricketer that he is notched up a staggering 12650 runs in ODIs. In T20I cricket too, Jayawardene scored 1493 runs in 55 matches. Truly, a white-ball cricket masterclass. Mahela Jayawardene played his last international match for Sri Lanka on 18th March 2015, against the South African side at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).

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