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Mendis enjoying adviser’s role
‘We didn’t drop Jayawardene because we still regard him as a matchwinner’

Johannesburg: Captain. Manager. Coach. Chief selector... And, now, the first Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka (BCCSL)-appointed adviser. It’s unlikely that anybody anywhere has worn as many hats as Duleep Mendis and, if you ask him, he is quite enjoying this latest role.

“When I took up the assignment, after our poor tour of England last year, I’d made it clear I would stay till the World Cup. However, since then, I haven’t been told anything...In any case, I continue to be the BCCSL’s director of development,” Mendis told The Telegraph Monday morning.

Talking about his newest responsibility, Mendis said: “As the designation suggests, I’m advising the team on all matters... I touch upon aspects like mental toughness as well... It’s interesting, though not very different from the time I was coach...”

Given his position, Mendis does have a say (though informally) in the composition of the XI. “Well, I do get consulted,” is all he himself acknowledged, smiling.

Agreeing that Sri Lanka have lacked consistency, Mendis felt Mahela Jayawardene’s poor run — scores of 1, 5, 9, 1 and 0 going into the India game — had hit the team hard. “We didn’t drop him because it’s only by playing that he can come out of such a patch. Moreover, we still regard him a matchwinner.”

Forget being a matchwinner, Jayawardene added a duck at the Wanderers, Monday.

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