"Inviting Pakistan to bat first was team decision"

By Bipin Dani. Dated: 2/5/2022 9:53:55 PM

MUMBAI, Feb 5: Sri Lanka's U-19 captain Dunith Wellalage is being criticized for inviting Pakistan to bat first, but it was not his sole decision, it is learnt.
"It was decided in the team meeting to field first if the toss is won", one of the sources, speaking exclusively over the telephone said after the match, which Pak team won comfortably.
"Mahela Jayawardene was not a part of this decision", the source also confirmed. "Mahela, the consultant, left for Colombo a few days before. He has so many other things to do", the source added.
"One of his main tasks is to fill the coaching vacancies for various teams".
Former Sri Lankan cricketer Naveed Nawaz is likely to be the key contender. The 48-year-old Naveed, who played one Test and three ODIs is a coach for the Bangladesh U-19 team and was already interviewed.
"He was invited by the team management for a meal when Mahela was in the West Indies. However, no proper discussion on his appointment took place in the presence of other coaching staff and Sri Lankan commentator Russel Arnold and the match referee-Graham Labrooy were also present", the source further added.
Sri Lanka's U-19 team was originally booked to leave for Colombo on 6th February, however, the team management is awaiting the ICC plan for a pre-poned departure by a day, it is learnt.
According to the sources in the Caribbean Islands, if the bookings and seats are available in British Airways flight for 5th February the team may not wait there to watch India's final against England on Saturday.
The team is scheduled to arrive in Colombo from Antigua via Gatwick and Doha.



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