Former Sri Lankan captain and the head coach of the Mumbai Indians, Mahela Jayawardene, has lamented on the fact that no Sri Lankan player was picked in the recently-concluded Indian Premier League auction.
The three-time IPL-winning coach termed it as ‘disheartening but added that the snub is a wake-up call and a message to the Sri Lankan cricketers to buckle up and raise the standard of their game in order to stand a chance to earn an elusive IPL contract in the future.
With Lasith Malinga, arguably the greatest overseas cricketer to have ever played in the IPL, calling it quits and Isuru Udana getting released by the Royal Challengers Bangalore, the upcoming season will be the first-ever edition of the IPL where no Sri Lankan cricketer will be seen in action. The likes of Thisara Perera, Kusal Perera, and Isuru Udana plied their trade in the auction, unfortunately, did not find any takers.
As things stand, the only representation that Sri Lanka will have in IPL 2021 will be in the coaching and in the management department. While Mahela Jayawardene is the head coach of Mumbai Indians, Kumar Sangakkara will kickstart his stint with Rajasthan Royals as ‘Director of Cricket’
“I think we still have the representation, so we’re happy (joking about him and Sangakkara being in the IPL). But yeah, a bit disappointed. I’m sure a few of the guys were on the radar, but I think it’s a tough place because you’re looking at 20-odd slots for the overseas players and the majority of the slots were for those fast bowlers and all-rounders, which I think Sri Lanka lacks a little bit of that,” Mahela Jayawardene was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.
“But I’m sure the younger generation will come through and till then, it is disheartening but that is what it is. IPL is a place where you try and get the best players in world cricket to come and play. And it’s a good message for the Sri Lankan players to lift their game up, get competitive, so they could be part of the IPL on their merit,” Mahela Jayawardene added.