'It is disheartening': MI head coach Jayawardene explains why no Sri Lankan player will play in IPL 2021
For the first time in the history of the Indian Premier League, no player from Sri Lanka will take part in the tournament during the 2021 edition. While the likes of Mahela Jayawardene, Muttiah Muralitharan, Kumar Sangakkara, Sanath Jayasuriya, T Dilshan and Chaminda Vaas played a prominent part in the initial phase of the league, Lasith Malinga continued the legacy by being a stalwart for Mumbai Indians.
However, with Malinga's retirement and Isuru Udana's release, no player from Sri Lanka was part of an IPL team. Udana, Kusal Perera and Thisara Perera were part of the auction but all went unsold while rookie Jaffna leg-spinner Vijayakanth Vilasanti made it among the 298 players that were shortlisted to go under the hammer.
The only representation from Lanka in IPL 2021 will be from the coaches and mentors. Jayawardene is the head coach of MI and he said that it is 'disheartening' that no Sri Lankan player was picked in the IPL 2021 mini-auction on Thursday. He added that the island players need to lift their game in order to feature in the tournament.
"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," ESPNcricinfo quoted Jayawardene as saying.
"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," he added.
In the players' auction held on Thursday, defending champions Mumbai Indians picked up, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jimmy Neesham, Yudhvir Charak, Marco Jansen, Arjun Tendulkar and Piyush Chawla.
(with ANI inputs)
Enter your email to get our daily newsletter in your inbox
- Mithali Raj-led hosts eye a comeback post an eight wicket loss in the opener on Sunday.
- Southampton, with a five-star facility inside the stadium, will make it easier for both the ICC and the England and Wales Cricket Board to create a bio-bubble for the two teams.
- It will be India women's first game in the longest format of the game since November 2014 when the Indian players took on South Africa.
- India vs England: The Indian team management faces a problem of plenty going into the five T20I against England starting Friday.
- Padikkal sent a strong message to the national selectors before England ODIs as he slammed his fourth consecutive List A ton.
- The rise of youngsters has been instrumental in India registering back-to-back Test series wins, and for that Ganguly reckons, Dravid has had an immense role to play.
- The Black Caps shuffled their batting order, showed faith in part-time bowlers, and displayed tactical flexibility to prevail 3-2 over Australia and make it five wins from as many home series this season.
- India vs England: It was a knock that snatched the advantage away from England.