When he is not playing, science graduate Jehan Mubarak researches on how satellite imagery can improve paddy cultivation and productivity. Lately, his aptitude for research has helped him sift through data on two different, and arguably more volatile, on-field entities — the Delhi Daredevils (DD) and Victorian Bushrangers (VB).
“There is enough video footage on DD. We also know the players. But there’s not much footage available on the Australian team (VB),” Mubarak said.
Led by 28-year-old Mubarak, the Wayamba Elevens will represent Sri Lanka in the Champions League.
Wayamba, which means northwest in Sinhalese, has won the Lankan T20 provincial championship for two consecutive years. “The tournament is a opportunity to showcase our talent,” Mubarak said.
The $6 million (approx. Rs 29crores) as the total prize money, Mubarak said, was also a motivation. “A provincial cricketer in Sri Lanka gets about $35 (Rs. 1,700) a day during a local match. Even for international matches, the pay is around $3000 (approx. Rs. 1,45,000) for an ODI and $5000 (approx. Rs. 2,40,000) for a Test,” Mubarak said.
Having former captain Mahela Jayawardena and spinner Ajantha Mendis will help. “The good thing is that out of our squad of 15, only three have not played for Sri Lanka,” Mubarak said.
Yet, the captain expects that there would be that unknown ‘X’ factor in favour of Wayamba. “A team like VB has not played Mendis. By the time, they get down to playing him, the game could be over,” Mubarak said.
Mubarak is clear about one thing: “You can do all the preparation. But there is no middle ground in T20.”