Q&A: Jayawardena on tactical innovations, coaching & SouthamptonNEWS
A Sri Lankan legend. Mahela Jayawardena is in. Southampton, hear from your Men's Head Coach. New tactics. Building cricket's audience. And a celebrity draft pick.
WHAT INNOVATIONS WILL THE FORMAT PROVIDE?
It will be different tactically and the way you are going to set up will be different as well. The players will have to adapt and that’s exciting. With not as many balls there’s more of a licence for the batsmen to go out and put pressure on straight away.
WHAT IS KEY TO SUCCESS COACHING IN COMPETITIONS LIKE THE HUNDRED?
I think with these teams now the set-up is quite similar to a football manager. You’re managing the structure rather than being a coach. It’s about understanding the players and working with them and using your experience to guide them. I think it will probably be the same in The Hundred. There will be some differences in that we are starting with a clean slate and you need to plan your set-up and see how you are going to build a team in a new format. The competition will be exciting as well as the challenge.
BEST WAY TO USE TIMEOUT?
It’s about reinforcing what the guys have been doing. Sometimes you want to just keep up momentum and other times you welcome a break like that to talk things over. We try to keep it really simple. It is a good opportunity to refresh a few things, especially if you’re the fielding side. Speak to the captain about how you want to approach the next few overs to create opportunities.
WHICH CELEBRITY WOULD YOU DRAFT?
I’ll take Usain Bolt. I know he loves his cricket. He could bowl a few quick balls for us!
WHY SHOULD FAMILIES ATTEND?
I think it will be brilliant for the kids. This competition will have a shorter timeframe which will be good for families. It will be great for the kids to come during the summer holidays to watch and play a bit of cricket. To enjoy the excitement and see the big-name players for their local team. It’s a great way to encourage a younger generation to cricket.
CAN THE HUNDRED BUILD ON THE CURRENT BUZZ IN ENGLISH CRICKET?
Absolutely, this summer has been amazing. Just look at the Headingley Test match. That was something special that is not going to happen that often. With the English boys winning the World Cup that has taken white-ball cricket to a new level. This is a great time to introduce the new format and I’m sure the youngsters will be very excited for the competition with the best players. Hopefully one day they will want to be a part of the teams. I think England has been craving a competition like this. Now with the talent they have to showcase, as well as the international talent that will come in, then it will be very exciting.
WHERE ARE YOUR FAVOURITE PLACES IN SOUTHAMPTON?
I have been enticed by some lovely golf courses at Southampton. I’m a big Premier League fan. Next year, the new season will start around then and they have a few teams on the south coast now. When I was there last time I went to watch Southampton against Manchester United.
BEST THING ABOUT THE SOUTHAMPTON PUBLIC?
They’re a cricket-loving public. Whenever we toured or played they came in their numbers to support. When I was playing for Sussex and Somerset I used to go there and they’re very loyal supporters. I’m sure there will be a good local support backing the team.