Search for an assistant to Bayliss begins June 24, 2007

Sri Lanka eye Jonty, Blewett for assistant position

Cricinfo staff

Jonty Rhodes is wanted by Sri Lanka for his fielding expertise © AFP

Sri Lanka are eyeing Jonty Rhodes and Greg Blewett as assistant coach to newly appointed head coach Trevor Bayliss.

Rumesh Ratnayake, the former fast bowler, was offered the position but turned it down citing personal reasons, thus sparking the search for another name.

"We were looking up to Rumesh with the future in mind, but now that he is unavailable we have to weigh our options," a Sri Lanka Cricket spokesman was reported as saying by AFP. "Rhodes and Blewett are two names that will be approached because we want someone whose speciality was fielding."

Rhodes was regarded as one of the world's best fielders during his 11-year career that ended in 2003 after 52 Tests and 245 one-day internationals. He worked briefly with Pakistan last year and has been working with the South African national side since.

Blewett played 46 Tests and 32 one-dayers for Australia from 1995 to 2000 before retiring from first-class cricket last month.

Bayliss, former New South Wales coach, is due to take over as Sri Lanka coach from August, after Tom Moody decided not to stay on and return to Western Australia. Trevor Penney, Moody's assistant, is in temporary charge of the side before he too goes to Western Australia.