Sri Lanka in England 2014 April 30, 2014

Jayawardene plays down Farbrace impact

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Mahela Jayawardene has played down the impact Paul Farbrace's change of allegiance will have when Sri Lanka tour England this summer. Farbrace was Sri Lanka's coach for a little over three months before he broke his two-year contract to become England's assistant coach shortly before the tour.

"I don't think Paul going to England will affect us that much. All the teams know how we play," Jayawardene told the Daily Mirror. "We just have to adapt to the conditions and keep challenging ourselves to do well. I honestly don't think that's going to affect us."

Farbrace began his tenure as Sri Lanka coach on January 1 and the team lost only one out of 18 matches under his watch, winning the World T20 and Asia Cup. However, while acknowledging Farbrace's skills as a coach, Jayawardene said the process that resulted in those victories had been in place well before Farbrace.

"The team had been together for a long time and we became the number one team [in T20 cricket] before Paul came along. So it's been a gradual process. We worked with Graham [Ford] for two years and things were in place. Personnel and individual players chosen and all that."

"Paul is great guy, he is a good coach. He gives a lot of confidence to the players. That's what he brought to the table. It helped us. There were things in place for some time and the team gradually worked their way through to the World Cup [Twenty20]."

Jayawardene said Farbrace's decision to leave was disappointing but he was not about to dwell on it and stressed the need to move on under new guidance from interim coach Marvan Atapattu and former Surrey coach Chris Adams, who was signed by Sri Lanka Cricket as a consultant for the tour to England.

"As players this is something we can't control obviously. It is disappointing on both sides because we would've loved to have him [Farbrace]," Jayawardene said. "But he had made a decision. I think we just need to move on like we've always done as a team.

"We've got Marvan and the coaches who have been with us for the last two-three years. So there is continuity, which is great. He [Adams] will be a good addition to us - just to get insight of how the wickets are playing, how the conditions are, and for us to keep someone in our corner.

"Preparations have been very good. The practices we've had have been very well organised and a lot of input and practice done with purpose, looking at the conditions in England. Very proactive sessions. I enjoyed that very much."

The upcoming Test tour will be Jayawardene's fifth to England, where he has scored 614 runs in 19 innings at an average of 34.11. "I've always enjoyed playing in England, especially at Lord's. It is one of my favourite venues. We've got some very good young talent and with this young team I am looking forward to the challenge.

Sri Lanka are going to England under Angelo Mathews as captain and a new vice-captain in Lahiru Thirimanne, who replaced Dinesh Chandimal in the role. Jaywardene said Thirimanne was deserving of the additional responsibility. "He had two great years with us. Obviously he has been rewarded for all the good work he has done. He is obviously a very strong player mentally. He has shown that in all forms of the game. He seems a very calm, cool-headed person and obviously the leadership qualities are there. It will be good move for the team."

Sri Lanka's tour begins with two ODIs against Ireland on May 6 and 8, followed by a Twenty20 international and five ODIs against England. The two Tests against England begin on June 12 at Lord's and June 20 at Headingley.

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  • RohanMarkJay on May 4, 2014, 0:01 GMT

    Yep Farbace jumping ship midway was bad. When SL were prepared to have him as their head coach for the next few years. Which included the WC in Australia. England might have the funds these days to poach coaches from other teams. But recruiting Farbace won't fix England's problems. It is most likely that England is in for a lean period of a number of years of not much success very similar to how they were in the 1990s. That's not to say they wont win the odd series here and there. But they will probably struggle and not be very successful in tournaments. Farbace will probably be discarded when the expected results don't come. In the meantime SL will probably go to the WC in Oz and do very well and reach semis or the final or even win the tournament and go from strength to strength in other tournaments. It is possible in a year or two out of work Paul Farbace might come back knocking on SL's door asking to be part of the SL cricket set up again. As back to the 1990s England struggle.

  • shakeena on May 1, 2014, 18:50 GMT

    @ Jose Puliampatta - what a Comment.. totally agree with you sir.. The Destiny of Sub-continental Cricket teams :) :)

  • cric1965 on May 1, 2014, 9:58 GMT

    No place in Sri Lankan team should be granted. Players must show their performance and should earn their place. If anybody fail continuosly should be dropped never mind even Sangakkara. Past records and names does not matter. Their current performance should be taken into account while selecting for world cup.In that sense red light has shown for Mahela and Dilshan. Just one innings performance cannot be considered.Thiri will fight No 1 spot with dilshan. Dishan,s reflexes are going down day by day.In next March,world cup time his age will be 38 years plus five months. Will he perform well like past glory years or will he be dropped like sanath Jayasooriya in 2011 world cup squad.

  • miles100 on May 1, 2014, 6:32 GMT

    Nothing personal against Thiri..Making Thiri vice captain means that Dinesh might not be playing in any formats until Sanga, Dilshan or Mahela retires after the world cup. This is a risky ploy by the selectors. Hope Thiri will play well. For me Dinesh is the better ODI player out of the two if the selectors only play Dinesh at no:4 batting position in ODI. Mahela should bat at no:5, Lahiru is a good No:3 batsman like Gura, maybe they should play Thiri at no:3 after Sanga retires and until then play Thiri somewhere else only if Mahela or Dilshan retires.Point here is until one of those 3 players retires, the better option is Dinesh over Thiri for ODIs and Choose Thiri over Dinesh for T20. I would leave out Thiri only from ODI until the next world cup and take a chance by putting Dinesh. I think they need to look at their strengths.

  • dummy4fb on May 1, 2014, 5:18 GMT

    England better watch out...Sri Lanka is going to come REALLY hard at them....i feel another defeat is at hand for England....Go Sri lanka...

  • cric1965 on May 1, 2014, 4:03 GMT

    what about Mahela batting at number five in one day cricket to strengthen the middle order and give chance to chandimal to play at number 4

  • dummy4fb on May 1, 2014, 2:06 GMT

    Why Farbrace alone; look at the history of coaches for a while.

    Dav left asking "Whatmore" I can do. Got an Aussy coach, and they slipped into a "Marshy" land. A heavy "Ford" pulled them out of the marshy land. Then came this Englishman, who could have helped the team quite "Far" into the future, and wanted to help them "Brace " up to the new challenges. Now, he is gonna back to colder but familiar climes, where he may hope that the new masters will rob "Peter" to pay "Paul".But Peter's "Moorings" will not allow that swap to happen -- he is too shrewd for that happen. They all end up being a bit frustrated lot.

    But it is more or less the same story, with almost all the sub-continental teams.

  • dummy4fb on April 30, 2014, 23:53 GMT

    Agree with Mahela. Fabrace is moving from job to job, in fact 3, during last 6 months. I don't think he will last very long with the England set-up. I think as for Mahela, he is well passed his use by date. He needs to perform soon to prove that we are wrong.

  • Kotuwegogoda on April 30, 2014, 23:08 GMT

    It's now fait accompli. Paul will not be with us and we need to agree. Mahela is very correct in his assessment. The players have to give their 110 pct commitment to Angelo and twin seniors in Mahela and Kumar to earn a Test series win in Mecca of Cricket.

    Country can slowly climb in test and ODI ratings in the process. Cheers.

  • TheKeeper on April 30, 2014, 22:49 GMT

    Guys, what are you all talking about? Mahela was Sri Lanka's highest run scorer in the t20 world cup. Mahela is still as good as gold.

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