IPL 2021: “It is disheartening” no Sri Lanka player will play IPL: Mahela Jayawardene.
IPL 2021: Mumbai Indians coach Mahela Jayawardene in a recent interview said it is really disheartening that no Sri Lankan players were picked up in the recent IPL 2021 mini-auction. He further added that the players from Sri Lanka will have to lift their game and play beyond the expectations in order to get picked in the coming auction of the luxurious tournament.
Since the inception of the T20 extravaganza, Sri Lankan players have played a major role for the sides. The likes of Kumar Sangakarra, Mahela Jayawardene, Muttiah Muralitharan, Sanath Jayasuriya, T Dilshan and Chaminda Vaas have played the league for the most part of the cricketing careers. While IPL 2021 will be without the contributions of the island players.
Senior pacer Lasith Malinga who has been a prominent face for Mumbai Indians took retirement and Isuru Udana went unsold in the auction after RCB released him ahead of the auctions. Udana, Kusal Perera, Vijayakanth Vilasanti and Thisara Perera had registered their names for the Auctions but only Vijayakanth Vilasanti could make it to the final list of 298 players where he went unsold.
Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakarra will be the two Sri Lankan who will be the part of IPL 2021 as a coach.
“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.
“I think the younger generation will come to play the tournament but till then it will be a disappointment and disheartening for us. IPL is a place where the best players form world cricket come under one roof and play against each other and to get selected in such league you have to be at the top of your game. It will be a strong message to the younger generation of Sri Lanka to lift the game of cricket and get better day by day.”