| Mahela Jayawardene, on Wednesday |
Colombo: Purely for “tactical” reasons, former captain Kumar Sangakkara looks set to again lead Sri Lanka, this time in Thursday’s World Twenty20 semi-final against Pakistan.
Regular captain Mahela Jayawardene indicated as much during a brief one-on-one with The Telegraph.
Mahela stepped back the other day in Sri Lanka’s last Super Eight game, versus England. That’s because if the team again got fined for a slow-over rate, then he’d have to miss a match.
The final, if Sri Lanka get there.
For exactly the same reason, vice-captain Angelo Mathew wasn’t asked to lead. Like Mahela, he’s already been in the ‘dock’ once in recent times and is, therefore, on a caution.
“I haven’t discussed it yet with Sanga, but I suppose he’ll be the captain... The way things are, we’re reacting to a situation,” Mahela said on Wednesday afternoon.
Earlier, at a media conference, Mahela emphasised that the move the other day had wholly been “tactical” and no individual or team had been harmed.
“Like a bowling change or like a batting change,” is how Mahela put it. He’d himself informed England captain Stuart Broad that he wouldn’t be leading that day.
Clearly, Sri Lanka have beaten the rest and, now, other teams are likely to play the same game when it’s so warranted.
It pays to have two cerebral cricketers in the top-rung of any team. But what will happen to Sri Lanka once Mahela and Sangakkara retire?
Nobody here wants to take that question.
Meanwhile, as part of an initiative by Odel, Colombo’s best-known address for most things Sri Lankan, some members of the hosts’ World Twenty20 squad painted miniature elephants in clay.
Their work of “art” is going to be auctioned at Odel and the proceeds will go to the elephant orphanage in Kandy.