Mahela Jayawardene has effectively ended his playing career in Bangladesh after being signed for two seasons as head coach of BPL franchise Khulna Titans. Jayawardene featured in two games for Dhaka Dynamites alongside his former Sri Lankan team-mate Kumar Sangakkara in 2016.
Jayawardene's signing comes a week after he coached Mumbai Indians to an IPL crown in his first season with the franchise. The former Sri Lankan captain takes over the mantle from Stuart Law, the former Australia batsman who recently took over as head coach of West Indies.
"I enjoyed playing in the BPL last year and that has given me a great insight into what will be required to be successful in the 2017 tournament," Jayawardene said in a statement. "BPL is an exciting tournament for Bangladesh, as well the region as a whole, and I am excited to be partnering with one of the most respected and forward-thinking franchises."
Kazi Inam Ahmed, Khulna's managing director, said that the franchise can only benefit from the expertise of a cricketer of Jayawardene's stature. "We are excited to have Mahela Jayawardane join the Titans as head coach for next two editions of BPL," Ahmed said. "He has always been a great leader on the field and has won big tournaments for Sri Lanka.
"We were thrilled to see him win the IPL recently as the coach of the Mumbai Indians. I am sure all of us Titans will learn a lot from him and the tournament will be enriched by his presence."
The 2017 edition is slated to start on November 4, with Sylhet likely to join the ranks and make it an eight-team event. The players' draft is likely to be held on September 16 in Dhaka.