Mahela to boost Sri Lanka U19s’ Youth World Cup campaign

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Former Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene is set to join Sri Lanka Under 19 team for the ICC Youth World Cup in West Indies. A Sri Lanka Cricket official confirmed that the consultant coach will leave the island on January 9th to join the team which has already left for the Youth World Cup.

“Mahela will be with the Sri Lanka Under 19 team during the entire tournament. He will leave the island on January 9th and will remain with the team during the entire competition,” Ashely de Silva, the Sri Lanka Cricket CEO said in reply to a query by The Island yesterday.

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Sri Lanka Cricket appointed Jayawardene as the ‘Consultant Coach’ for the National Teams with effect from January 1, 2022. He was already providing his expertise for the youth team when he was appointed.

At the time of his appointment Jayawardene was quoted as having said that he would be helping in terms of team’s preparation and strategic-thinking during tournaments.

The ICC Youth World Cup will commence on January 14 with two Group ‘D’ matches. Sri Lanka drawn in Group ‘D’ will commence the campaign with their match against Scotland on the same day. The Youth World Cup will run till February 5.

Sri Lanka Under 19s are coached by Avishka Gunawardena, who was appointed to the post in September last year. The team did well during home series under Gunawardena’s tutelage during the last few months before leaving for two overseas assignments.

The team captained by St. Joseph’s College, Darley Road spinner Dunith Wellalage were the runners up to India Under 19s at last week’s Asian Cricket Council Under 19 Asia Cup in UAE, from where they left for the West Indies. The defeat at the hands of India was the only blemish in that tournament.

They commenced preparations with a 5-0 victory against Bangladesh Under 19s in a series played in Dambulla before winning a five-match series against their England counterparts in Colombo last month.

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