Jayawardene elevated to global role

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Mahela Jayawardene has taken up a broader role at Mumbai Indians, as the franchise’s global head of performance. In his new position, Jayawardene will oversee the coaching and scouting at all the three teams the franchise owners now have – Mumbai Indians in the IPL, MI Emirates in the ILT20, and MI Cape Town in the SA20. 

In a statement, the group said that the team management recognised the need for a central team at the helm of affairs because of the company’s expansion to ‘ensure consistency […] on ethos, values, and learning, that have made MI one of the most loved cricket brands across the globe’.

It is learnt that the franchise will shortly unveil the new head coach for the IPL team, a job Jayawardene has performed since the 2017 edition of the IPL, overseeing three title wins.

Jayawardene would be involved with ‘overall strategic planning, the creation of an integrated global high-performance eco-system, as well as responsibility for each team’s coaching and support structures, working closely with the team head coaches to ensure synergies, a consistent brand of cricket, and implementation of best practices set by MI.’

Jayawardene has already started work in his new role, and was part of the discussions that ended with Mark Boucher coming on board as head coach role for MI Cape Town. Jayawardene was also involved in the process to identify the five direct acquisitions for the SA20 team in August. He will also sit with Boucher at the SA20 player auction, scheduled for 19 September in Cape Town.

Calling the elevation ‘an absolute honour’, Jayawardene said he looked forward “to this new responsibility to build a strong cohesive global brand of cricket”.

In the IPL, Jayawardene has been the second-most successful coach after Stephen Fleming, who has been with Chennai Super Kings since 2009 and has won four IPL titles with them. The Jayawardene-Rohit Sharma [Mumbai Indians captain] combine has made three IPL playoffs in six seasons and, remarkably won the title each time. They are the only team with five IPL titles and the only team apart from Super Kings to successfully defend the title, in 2020.

Mumbai have struggled for form and consistency in the last two seasons, and finished last in the ten-team event in 2022 where they won just four out of their 14 matches.