Mahela Jayawardene has been added to Sri Lanka's support staff roster as a consultant for the first round of the men's T20 World Cup, to be played in the UAE and Oman from October 17. The former Sri Lanka captain has also been signed on as a consultant and mentor for the Sri Lanka Under-19 team as it prepares for next year's World Cup in the Caribbean.
Jayawardene, who has been the Mumbai Indians head coach since 2017 - they won the IPL title that year and have won it twice since - will move from the IPL franchise's bio-bubble in Abu Dhabi to that of the Sri Lanka team immediately after the end of the tournament. The final of the IPL is scheduled for October 15, and Sri Lanka's first match at the World Cup will be on October 18 against Namibia. Four teams from the first round will join the top-eight teams in the second round, which starts on October 23. Sri Lanka are grouped with Ireland, Netherlands and Namibia in Group A of the first round.
"He will share his vast experience and provide invaluable strategic support for the players and management team during a 7-day period from 16-23 October when the team will play Namibia, Ireland, and the Netherlands as they seek to qualify for the Group Stages," SLC said in a statement.
As for the position with the Under-19 team, it will be for a five-month stretch and, as the board called it, in an "honorary capacity".
The double-appointment came about following a recommendation from the SLC's technical advisory committee.
"We are very happy to welcome Mahela into his new roles, as his presence with the Sri Lanka team and the Under-19 team is going to help the players immensely,'' Ashley De Silva, the SLC CEO, said in the statement. "From his playing days, Mahela was respected for the vast cricketing knowledge he brought into the game, first as a player, then as a captain, now as a coach for different teams."
Jayawardene, one of the most prolific run-scorers in the history of the game - 11,814 in Tests and 12,650 in ODIs led Sri Lanka in 38 Tests, as well as in 129 ODIs and 19 T20Is, and was the captain when Sri Lanka finished second-best to West Indies in the 2012 T20 World Cup final. After his playing career ended, he turned to coaching, and has worked with the England men's team, apart from with franchises in India, Bangladesh and in England.