Jayawardene blow for Derbyshire

International schedule prevents Sri Lankan's county stint

Last updated: 16th April 2008   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Jayawardene blow for Derbyshire

Jayawardene: cannot now join Derbyshire

I wish the club success during the coming season and hope that one day I will be able to play for them.

Mahela Jayawardene
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Mahela Jayawardene will no longer be joining Derbyshire during the 2008 season, the county has confirmed.

The Sri Lankan captain had been signed on a short-term deal to arrive after the Indian Premier League and play for the remainder of the first half of the season.

But the decision to move the Asia Cup to June and changes to India's tour of Sri Lanka mean there is not enough time to make even a shortened contract worthwhile.

"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," said Derbyshire chief executive Tom Sears.

"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."

Disappointed

Jayawardene commented: "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 head of cricket John Morris confirmed the door remains open for the 30-year-old to play for the county at some stage in the future.

In his absence, Australian batsman Chris Rogers will play the entire season as Derbyshire's overseas player.

"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," said Morris.

"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."

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