New Delhi: Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has expressed disappointment at former legend and skipper Mahela Jayawardene, who has up the role of batting consultant with the England cricket team for the upcoming ICC World Twenty20 to be held in India from March 8.
According to a report in ESPN Cricinfo, SLC president Thilanga Sumathipala said that Jayawardene's decision to join England for the role is "sad and disappointing".
“I'm very disappointed that a national captain, within a few months of retirement, has been retained by another team at a World Cup.I had a lot of respect and gratitude for Mahela's knowledge, but now he's advisor to a competing team of ours,” he said.
He went on to add that Mahela could have gone to a domestic team in any country rather than joining a rival national side that too in a World Cup tourney.
He added, ""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."
Sumathipala also mentioned the need for a minimum cooling-off period in such cases, highlighting that a player who has recently retired from the game would know team's strengths and its weaknesses.
"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."
Jayawardene had previously worked with England for two Tests, during their tour to the UAE in 2015. Jayawardene played his last ODI for Sri Lanka in March 2015, but had quit T20s in April 2014.