Sri Lanka in England 2014

Jayawardene plays down Farbrace impact

ESPNcricinfo staff

April 30, 2014

Comments: 36 | Text size: A | A

Paul Farbrace chats with Mahela Jayawardene, Dhaka, April 22, 2014
Mahela Jayawardene on Paul Farbrace: "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." © AFP

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.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by 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.

Posted by 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 :) :)

Posted by 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.

Posted by 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.

Posted by   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...

Posted by 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

Posted by   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.

Posted by   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.

Posted by 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.

Posted by 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.

Posted by Nathan_123 on (April 30, 2014, 18:47 GMT)

I agree with Mahela the T20 world cup win is not because Fabrace it was because the team performed consistently well before a long period in this format and finished off as the winners at the end. Paul happened to be at the right time at the right place. Top level cricket is all about being mentally strong and prepared. Without KP England is week side. I believe Srilanka will give value for money this time around. The fast bowlers have come good under Vasi's tenure. I have already booked my ticket see Kumar batting at Lords. Every cricket lover should watch him bat live. It will be a one in a life time opportunity. I can't wait!

Posted by   on (April 30, 2014, 14:58 GMT)

Mahela seriously need to improve his batting performance if he thinks to continue till next world cup.

Posted by vkumar_086. on (April 30, 2014, 14:52 GMT)

Sri Lanka's preparation for this tour has been great. Since players have not played IPL, they have got very good rest and they will be refreshed raring to go. Youngsters have been at the forefront of Sri Lanka's triumph. Thirimanne and Kusal Perera should open in both ODIs and T20s. Bowling attack is improving but concern is if they can sustain a series as shown by how we crumbled in Sharjah after winning in Dubai. Sri Lanka no doubt has the upperhand in ODIs as we have won 8 out of the last 11 ODIs against England in England including 5-0 in 2006.

Posted by   on (April 30, 2014, 14:48 GMT)

The Big issue is Mahela cant make runs when matches are played out side Sri Lanka. He has been totalay inconsistant for last two years. He took Two years to make his recent century. So Sri Lanken will have to depend heavily on new comers like Chandi, Lahiru,Tisara during next toor.

Posted by DingDong420 on (April 30, 2014, 14:41 GMT)

Mahela is deluded, he needs to retire!

Posted by   on (April 30, 2014, 14:21 GMT)

there is an important point which Mahela made that Farbrace gave them confidence which is sometimes called mental strength.A good coach hardly corrects the Technique of an international player but motivates players to raise their game. This is the area which perhaps Marvan is lacking but the presence of Sanga and Mahela to guide the Juniors supplemented by the presence of Chris Adams a former County Captain believe the void will be filled

Posted by muzika_tchaikovskogo on (April 30, 2014, 12:26 GMT)

Best of luck to Sri Lanka. They have been excellent in their last 2 tours- hopefully they'll be just as good this time round.

Posted by FawltyBean on (April 30, 2014, 12:09 GMT)

Question is - Did SL team learn anything about England players (especially new ones) from Farbrace? England also looking from Farbrace that confidence he gives players, that's where SL team's loss come from.

Posted by tennakoon63 on (April 30, 2014, 12:01 GMT)

Well said Mahela. Like you said the coach is there to guide the team and the rest is in the hands of the players.

Posted by   on (April 30, 2014, 11:54 GMT)

I have to agree with vkias's view. If Fabrace won 18 games (which is hardly a fluke) then why did not SLC retain him as a permanent Coaching contract? Why we penny pinch when it comes to pay someone for his services? This type of attitude always backfires on us..

Posted by kohli_ponnaya on (April 30, 2014, 11:25 GMT)

@siddartha87, are you clowning or seriously lacking cricket knowledge? It is precisely for this reason that Chandi & Thiri should be in the team. They are the future so no idea what you mean by saying dropping them is good for SL future.

Posted by rizwan1981 on (April 30, 2014, 11:15 GMT)

I doubt SL can win in England unless we produce bowlers who can take 20 wickets. If the sun is shining perhaps Herath will be in business but if conditions are nippy , Anderson , Broad and Co. will be a handful. The onus will be on Mahela and Sanga to come up with daddy hundreds to put pressure on the weak English batting. Sanath should consider hiring BOYCOTT , Barry Richards or Mark Ramprakash to help our batters negotiate the elements and the duke ball. I doubt Chris Adams who is not a batting technician will be of help to the younger players like Thiri,Silva and Chandimal.

Posted by PACERONE on (April 30, 2014, 11:11 GMT)

SL will do fine in England.Batsmen will have to learn not to play at balls they don't have too.Bowlers bowl a good line and length and most important take their catches.A coach cannot do that for them.

Posted by   on (April 30, 2014, 10:54 GMT)

Whatever the real reason behind Paul Fabrace's breaking the contract within 3 months and crossing over to the other side, it strikes me as a bit of unprofessional. In the business world, one cannot sell one's business to someone else and then set up shop doing similar business under a new name next day. There is a non-compete clause that restrains such behavior. Similarly there ought to be a cooling off period before a coach can cross over. In politics this would be called 'defection' which similarly attracts its own set of consequences. SL may or may not be affected by Fabrace's changing sides but it definitely sets a bad precedent. ICC must address the issue in relation to hiring 'foreign' coaches.

Posted by   on (April 30, 2014, 10:44 GMT)

I agree with Mahela. FB departure is not going to have any effect on our boys. We just have to get accustomed to conditions in UK and get on with playing good cricket. There are no hidden secrets that FB can tell England team.

Sanga is doing the right thing by playing for Durham. That will give him a good opportunity to get used to the conditions in UK. Only loss SL cricket suffered was all the money we spent to entertain Yorkshire cricket as part of FB move. It is not a bad thing we are using Chris Adams as a consultant to assist us with logistics in UK.

Posted by ksquared on (April 30, 2014, 10:19 GMT)

Mahela has hit the nail on the head it's no big secret how SL plays ODI and T20 cricket and even then they have have been successful every where. SL haven't still gotten the hang of test cricket mainly because of the inexperienced bowling unit but recently the bowling as a unit have performed well and if the batting manages to keep its shape and perform the series should be very competitive. It would be a huge achievement if they win a game or at least draw the series. At home ENG would have the advantage but in the ODI and T20 SL are the favorites.

Posted by gautm on (April 30, 2014, 10:14 GMT)

This tour is a good opportunity for Mahela to prove his credentials as well. His averages outside the subcontinent as per Cricinfo In Aus - 31.42 In Eng - 34.11 In NZ - 27.71 In SA - 27.87

Posted by android_user on (April 30, 2014, 9:35 GMT)

finally we have the great combination.SL should try to perform very best at the 2 test matches.thatz the place we have to improove.all da best guys !

Posted by siddhartha87 on (April 30, 2014, 9:17 GMT)

Foor the sake of future of SL cricket they should drop Thiramanne and Chandimal from this tour. Anderson and co will hunt them like lambs beings hunted by wolves.

Posted by vkumar_086 on (April 30, 2014, 9:16 GMT)

I dont know how SLC will manage this....Fabrace won 18 matches for them, but still SLC did not retain him...surely it will have effect on SL, will see in this tour.....

Posted by   on (April 30, 2014, 9:10 GMT)

While there is no doubt that Herath is the one world-class bowler, the England tour will give us a good indication of the progress that the fast bowlers have made: they have been toiling away in conditions that are not conducive to swing and seam and from the various reports they are supposed to have improved considerably. Early May will be ideal testing period!

Posted by lancia71 on (April 30, 2014, 8:54 GMT)

I think Mahela, Sanath and others must stop talking now and get on with the real job in hand. Too much coverage about retirements, bad officials etc (ofc hands down sl board is the worst out there) but frankly Mahela has spoken enough during the last few weeks. We should understand we need to do a lot more to be competitive out there. So much talk about the sl pace attack. None of the pacers will get into even England A team. Herath is the only world class bowler but can't expect him to bowl out England twice. Will lose the test series but will win the odi's and again there will be lot of talk.

Posted by ConstableGoody on (April 30, 2014, 8:23 GMT)

Die_hard fan, thanks for the warm wishes mate. It's always refreshing to see such positive, gentlemanly comments and gestures from our neighbors who do not desert us in hard times. I am sure the Sri Lankan team will do their level best not to disappoint you.

Posted by desm on (April 30, 2014, 8:14 GMT)

sour grapes my friend We will play better cricket in England

Posted by SDeepalV on (April 30, 2014, 7:55 GMT)

Well said Mahela..It is not the coach but the players in the middle will have to take the initiative.Best is to be there 2 weeks in advance and get use to the conditions, where you could have hot packs in the start with.

Posted by miles100 on (April 30, 2014, 7:55 GMT)

If they decide to make Lahiru Vice captain then their intention is to drop Chandimal from ODIs and test. We need both Chandimal and Lahiru together after Sanga or Mahela retire. Right now I will not choose Lahiru over Dinesh for the ODI team over Chandi unless Chnadi is continuing fail further in the next 2 tours. Dinesh had shown more courage. Here is my batting team before Sanga and Mahela Retires 1. Kusal 2.Dilshan 3. Sanga 4. Chandimal 5. Mahela 6.Mathews and then the bowlers/All rounders etc. As you can see Lahiru has no place in this ODI lineup unless Dinesh cannot come back to form in the next 2 series. After Dilshan, Sanga and Mahela retires from ODI, not only both Lahiru and Dinesh can play together, but also there will be 2 more batting vacancies available for 2 new young sparkling batsmen.

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