DUBAI: The former Sri Lankan captain and the International Cricket Council (ICC) Hall of Famer Mehla Jayawardene picked Pakistani left-arm pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi and the wicket-keeper batter Mohammad Rizwan among the first five players in his dream T20 XI.
Jayawardene, while featuring in the latest episode of the ICC Review, picked the ‘First Five’ players in his dream T20 XI that includes Pakistan’s Shaheen and Rizwan, India’s Jasprit Bumrah, England’s Jos Buttler, and Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan.
In the episode, Jayawardene was asked to pick the ‘First Five’ cricketers in his dream T20 XI by the host Sanjana Ganesan in accordance with their recent performances in the shortest format of the game.
The ICC Cricketer of the Year 2021 Shaheen and the ICC Men’s T20I Cricketer of the Year 2021 Rizwan, managed to make it to the list of Jayawardene’s ‘First Five’ players in his dream T20 XI.
Mahela Jayawardena’s five-a-side dream T20 team features these superstars 🤩
Which five players would you pick?
— ICC (@ICC) May 2, 2022
Jayawardene commented on Shaheen’s performance with the ball in the shortest format of the game, saying he bowls very well with the new ball and is capable of getting some swing early on.
“I am then going to go with two more bowlers actually and the first one is going to be a left-armer in Shaheen Afridi,” Jayawardena said.
“He had a great World Cup last year, bowls very well with the new ball and is more than capable of getting some swing early too. He is a wicket-taking option too that bowls very well at the death as well so can be considered a good attacking option,” he added.
The former Sri Lankan captain then chose Rizwan as the wicket-keeper batter, praising him as a terrific player of spin and a ‘busy player.’
“The next option is the wicketkeeper-batter and I am going with Mohammad Rizwan,” Jayawardena said.
“I know he does often open the batting for Pakistan, but I think he can bat in that middle order. He is a good player of spin and a very busy player,” he concluded.
It is pertinent to mention here that Jayawardene on being asked as to which player he would bring out of retirement to play in his dream XI, nominated the former West Indian opener, Chris Gayle.