Gunawardene and Halangoada to head Sri Lanka Under 19 Team

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Former Sri Lanka Cricketer Avishka Gunawardena and former first-class Cricketer Mahinda Halangoda have been appointed as Head Coach and Manager respectively, of the Sri Lanka U-19 team.

Gunawardena’s appointment is effective until 31st December 2022 while Halangoda is hired till the completion of the 2022 ICC U19 World Cup.

Read: Avishka Gunawardene appointed as Batting Coach of Afghanistan

Former Sri Lanka opener was banned from any cricketing activity by the ICC on behalf of the charges pressed on him by the Emirates Cricket Board in 2019. But, he held his innocence and became one of the few characters who were able to prove his innocence against the ICC and to get them to drop the charges against him.

This will be the first major involvement in cricket for Gunawardena since his ban was lifted. He was appointed as the batting consultant of the Afghanistan team which was supposed to play against Pakistan in Sri Lanka, but the deal never got through as the tour was cancelled. 

Being an ICC Level III qualified coach, Gunawardena has been the head coach of Sri Lanka A and emerging teams prior to his ban and was largely praised by many up and coming cricketers as having had a positive impact on their growth. He also held the role of ‘Batting Coach,’ of the National Team, during several international tours.

Halangoda, on the other hand, was a prominent figure in first-class cricket during his time and led SSC for a long time. The former Thomian also has previous experience in being the team manager of the Sri Lanka U-19 team.

Read: “I am innocent of all these charges” – Avishka Gunawardene

The Sri Lankan U-19 team is set to have inbound assignments against Bangladesh and England later this year and they will also leave for the U-19 Asia Cup in the UAE before flying out to the West Indies in January 2022 to take part in the ICC U-19 World Cup.