Moody's successor is fifth Australian to take charge of the team June 14, 2007

Trevor Bayliss is new Sri Lanka coach



Trevor Bayliss: impressive presentation sealed the appointment © Getty Images
Trevor Bayliss has been appointed as the new Sri Lanka coach. Bayliss, 44, who succeeds Tom Moody, will begin a two-year term in August after giving up his coaching duties in New South Wales.

Jayantha Dharmadasa, president of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), said Bayliss, who was interviewed in Colombo, had made such an impressive presentation that the board had no hesitation in contracting him as the next coach.

"Trevor came before a high powered committee comprising Aravinda de Silva, Sidath Wettimuny, Michael Tissera, Anura Tennekoon and Duleep Mendis, who were very impressed with his presentation," Dharmadasa said.

A stroke-playing middle-order batsman and brilliant cover fielder, Bayliss quickly made his mark as the head coach of NSW when he succeeded Steve Rixon three years ago. He became a cricket development officer for the NSW Cricket Association and was a mentor to the second XI for a long time before taking the top job.

Kanangan Mathivanan, SLC's secretary, said: "When we knew how good he was, we signed him up immediately because there are a lot of countries head-hunting for coaches at present."

Mathivanan also stated that a new clause has been included in the contract where either of the parties will have to give three months' notice if they are quitting or terminating the contract. "We were caught in a tight situation when Moody informed us at the end of the World Cup that he was leaving us. That gave us little breathing space. Fortunately for us we did not have any heavy international commitments at the time."

Bayliss was one of the names suggested to SLC for the position by Moody. The others included Terry Oliver, the Queensland coach, who was also a strong contender. He was interviewed a fortnight ago.

SLC's move to appoint Bayliss so quickly is an interesting development given that Dharmadasa had said last week that his committee was not in a hurry. He will have his first international assignment with the Sri Lanka team when they take part in the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup tournament in South Africa in September.

Bayliss becomes the fifth coach from Australia to take charge of Sri Lanka since 1995. Dav Whatmore had two stints with the national side. He was followed by Bruce Yardley, John Dyson and then Tom Moody.

Trevor Penney, who was Moody's assistant, will handle the Sri Lanka team for the series against Bangladesh which starts next week.

The board appointed Rumesh Ratnayake, the former Sri Lanka fast bowler, as assistant coach to succeed Penney, whose contract expires in August.