Tuesday 15 April 2008 

Mahela Jayawardene Not Able To Fulfil Derbyshire Role

Derbyshire have confirmed that Mahela Jayawardena will be unable to join the county this season.

Sri Lankan captain Jayawardena had planned to arrive after the Indian Premier League but the move of the Asia Cup to June and changes to India’s tour of Sri Lanka meant that there was too little time to make even a shortened contract worthwhile.

Derbyshire Chief Executive Tom Sears said: "This is obviously a disappointment to the Club, our members and supporters but the landscape of cricket worldwide is changing very rapidly and we are forced to accept that. Mahela was extremely excited about his first involvement in county cricket and the opportunity to contribute to Derbyshire’s progress but unfortunately circumstances have changed in recent weeks.

"The international calendar is now extremely congested, various dates have been changed since we originally signed Mahela and both parties have agreed that him joining Derbyshire this season just isn’t viable."

Head of Cricket John Morris said: "It is a shame that Mahela won’t be coming this year but we took the sensible option of securing Chris Rogers’ services some weeks ago and he will play as our overseas player. Chris is an outstanding player with an excellent track record in county cricket and we are delighted to have him on board for an extended spell. We may look to bring someone in specifically for the Twenty20 Cup or Chris may play the whole season, that is something we will decide together in the coming weeks.

"We have left things on a very positive note with Mahela and there is a strong possibility we will look at him coming to Derbyshire at some stage in the future."

Mahela Jayawardena said: "I was really looking forward to playing for Derbyshire this season and I am very disappointed that the dates did not work this time. I wish the club success during the coming season and hope that one day I will be able to play for them."

© Derbyshire CCC