The Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) decision to impose a ban and several financial penalties on several senior players has not gone down well with other international cricketers.
Former Sri Lanka skipper, Mahela Jayawardene, for instance, called it unprecedented. “It's a harsh call on players unless they have really done something of the magnitude of which deserve this kind of punishment,” said Jayawardene, who plays for the Kings XI Punjab.
“It is the first time I have seen any cricket board taking such a step against its own players. The reason behind this drastic decision is not known to anyone yet but I hope the PCB has done a comprehensive investigation before pronouncing the punishment,” he added. Sympathising with the players, he said hoped he that there was light at the end of tunnel for all those involved.
Meanwhile, never once to mince words, the 32-year-old batsman put his weight behind the franchisee’s move to replace flamboyant Yuvraj Singh with Kumar Sangakkara as skipper and called it as a tactical decision.
“The team management wanted to take the burden off Yuvraj so he can concentrate on his batting. Yuvi can win matches single-handedly. He is the most furious hitter of the cricket ball and can tear any bowling attack to shreds,” he said.
However, he also felt that Sangakkara was better equipped to handle the pressure of captaincy. “I don't think Sangakkara will be under any pressure (as opposed to Yuvraj). The decision was taken probably because he has played more international matches than Yuvi and is also leading national Sri Lankan team. He knows how do handle such pressure. It's just a tactical decision and I hope it goes well for the team.”
However, he said that the change in guard wouldn't have any effect on the team. "The core of the think-tank is probably going to be the same and you won't see any drastic changes in our playing style."
Mahela incidentally, is in good form and has emerged as the second highest run getter for Wayamba in the Sri Lankan domestic T20 Championship. Nevertheless, he said that the there is huge difference in the level of competition and need to gain momentum soon as possible if he hopes of carrying his domestic T20 success into IPL.