The build-up to this season's Bangladesh Premier League for Khulna Titans will be similar to his stint with Mumbai Indians earlier this year, said Mahela Jayawardene, who was officially introduced as the franchise's head coach in Dhaka on Wednesday. He said that his initial challenge will be to form a culture in the dressing room that is acceptable for both local and foreign players.
"I think Mumbai [Indians] was pretty much the same," Jayawardene said. "A lot of the international players arrived 4-5 days before the tournament started. I get an opportunity to work with the local cricketers at that time by going a bit early, get to know the local talent. It gives me time as a coach to understand who they are and what triggers them.
"Apart from Junaid Khan, we've got a whole new group of overseas players coming for Khulna Titans. So the biggest challenge for us is to make sure that they understand Bangladeshi culture and the local players, and then getting familiarized with that environment, which I will try to create as quickly as possible. It is about creating a DNA for Khulna which started the franchise last year. It is about building on a culture for the team. It will be one of my challenges to make sure the foreign players understand that and become part of that DNA."
There is a growing perception that coaching becomes difficult in franchise-based domestic T20 tournaments these days, given the lesser number of training days fitted into schedules. BPL editions of the past saw teams getting two days to practice before hitting the ground running, with very little time available in between matches. But Jayawardene believes that players can catch up on many facets of the game during the length of the T20 tournament.
"The game is very professional," he said. "The younger Bangladesh cricketers will learn quickly how things are structured and operated. The tournament is almost six weeks, which is a lot of time for players to learn the planning, the roles and the execution of certain things.
"It is enough time to gel a team. It is about how you keep the balance of the good times and bad. You have to be focused at the business end of the tournament."