Sri Lanka news September 29, 2011

Marsh wants to extend contract till 2015 World Cup

Sri Lanka's new head coach, Geoff Marsh, has said that he is keen to extend his two-year contract with Sri Lanka Cricket and help them win another World Cup. The former Australia batsman and coach succeeds another Australian, Trevor Bayliss, who retired at the end of the 2011 World Cup in April after coaching the Sri Lanka team for four years.

"If Sri Lanka Cricket wants me to extend my contract till the 2014 World Cup its open from my end for discussions," Marsh said on Thursday after taking over officially as head coach of Sri Lanka. "At the moment it's a two-year contract and we haven't talked about the finish yet. Hopefully the World Cup is something that I love to be through having won two (as a player and as a coach), but my immediate focus is preparing the team for the next test match which is against Pakistan next month."

Marsh, 52 was a member of the Australian side that won the World Cup in 1987 and was coach of Australia when they won the World Cup again in 1999. He said that he will treat all three formats of the game - Test, One-Day International and Twenty20 cricket - the same.

"We got to basically sit down and plan for Test cricket, ODI cricket and T20 cricket we won't favour one. Obviously the World Twenty20 is important but the most important game we play next is the first Test against Pakistan, that's exactly what we will be targeting." Sri Lanka take on Pakistan in the UAE next month. They will host the ICC World Twenty20 in September 2012.

Marsh coached the Pune Warriors in the 2011 IPL and said taking the Sri Lanka job was a way to get back into international cricket. "I retired after Zimbabwe and I had a break just to spend a little bit of time with my own two boys. In the last couple of years I got that hunger to get back into it and my two boys have said to me 'get out there and coach'.

"Being good friends with Tom Moody, he said that it was a fantastic place to come to. To be a part of Sri Lanka cricket was a great experience for him. That's how it all started. It's always been in the back of my mind that if I took on a coaching role it had to be out of Australia because it's a conflict of interest to coach my kids (Shaun and Mitchell) in state cricket and for Australia. When you look around the world, Tom was always saying that this was a great place to come and coach and the people are fantastic. That's how it came about."