Jayawardene, Muralitharan snub desperate cricket selectors

National selectors made a formal request to hire several legends, including Jayawardene, Muralitharan and Sangakkara, to a special committee advising on how to return to winning ways.

File Photo: Jayawardene said that he did not want a repeat of the experience after his recommendations were ignored last year.   -  Vivek Bendre

Sri Lankan cricket legends Mahela Jayawardene and Muttiah Muralitharan have rejected a request to provide consultancy services to the struggling national team.

National selectors made a formal request to hire several legends, including Jayawardene, Muralitharan and Kumar Sangakkara, to a special committee advising on how to return to winning ways.

Last year Sri Lanka suffered a series Test and one-day whitewash to India on home soil, lost a one-day series to bottom-ranked Zimbabwe, also held in Sri Lanka, and crashed out of the Champions Trophy early.

The Islanders were also soundly beaten in the first Test in the current tour of the West Indies last weekend and in the first innings of the second Test on Thursday were skittled for 253.

Late last year, Jayawardene, 41, was appointed to a special panel to advise the then sports minister on corrective measures.

But the legendary batsman said that his recommendations were ignored and that he did not want a repeat of the experience. Even Muralitharan echoed similar views and opted out.

“I don't have any trust in the system. If any one wants to buy time please don’t use us!” he posted on Twitter.

Muralitharan, who has 1334 international wickets to his name, has hit out at the board for not reviving the game.

Issuing a statement, the 46—year—old said, “I am of the view that it is an insincere, cunning move, more to use us when the cricket administration is in such a deplorable state and I stand by the sentiments that Mahela has expressed of not being able to trust the system as per his own experience of attempting to resolve pressing issues which was never implemented.”

“It is sad that national cricketers are not consulted until it (the sport) hits the rock bottom. I would not hesitate to give my time if I do realise the genuineness and credibility of the administration despite my own professional coaching engagements worldwide,” Muralitharan added.

There was no immediate response from Sangakkara.

Jayawardene, a former Sri Lanka captain, scored 11,814 Test runs playing in 149 matches.

He also made 448 one-day international appearances, scoring a century during Sri Lanka’s defeat by India in the 2011 World Cup final in Mumbai, as well as playing in 55 T20 internationals.