The second part of the exclusive interview with the legendary cricketer and former Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene emphasises on Bangladesh cricket. One of the all-time best batsmen in world cricket talked briefly about the rise of Bangladesh cricket, his former team mate and Tigers head coach Chandika Hathurusingha, along with a few senior members of the Bangladesh team.
Here are the excerpts:
Are you going to take up coaching as a career or will you pursue other interests, like commentary?
No, I don’t want to make a career out of cricket. This is all me being a player contributing to the game and ready to take the challenge and be a part of the game. But my future is with other things and has nothing to do with cricket.
Do you think Bangladesh cricket is heading towards the right direction?
Well, I think they are heading towards the right direction and I think the initial investments they made with the players, infrastructures and various other programmes and the results are coming fruitful. The players are highly skilful and they are heading towards the right direction and just need to work hard on their game and make sure they are more consistent in international cricket.
What are your thoughts on Hathurusingha, who was your teammate back in your playing days?
He is driving it brilliantly. I think he is a very talented coach and skilful person who understands the modern game, and a very good player manager. He manages players really, really well and he has brought in the discipline in the Bangladesh team, and brought in the direction to the team. He has done a marvellous job so far and hopefully he will continue to do that.
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Jayawardene walks out after attending the press conference DHAKA TRIBUNE/Md Manik
Do you find similarities between the rise of Sri Lanka and Bangladesh as major cricketing forces?
It’s tough for me to say because Sri Lanka’s rise was way before I joined the team so it’s tough for me to compare with Bangladesh as I was not even part of the Bangladesh team as well. But you can say it’s similar in the fact that you know where they are winning. But you know Bangladesh has to learn from their success and try to be more consistent. Not just beat a team in a tournament but they have to be much more consistent both home and away. That’s something they need to stride for.
As batsmen, the likes of Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim, Shakib al Hasan and Mahmudullah have matured a lot over the years. How do you rate their progress?
I think they have stepped up over the years and they are very experienced and played for Bangladesh many years now and the skill is there. They need to shoulder the responsibility and the burden and drive that. They have done it in the last two years or so quite consistently, which is great. And good thing is they are still young players, not that old. They have a lot of experience and that will give them a platform to introduce more young players into the set-up and be successful.