Chaminda Vaas appointed Sri Lanka's fast bowling coach
Sri Lanka Cricket has appointed Chaminda Vaas as national fast bowling coach for two years, after weeks of negotiations with the former left-arm fast bowler. Muttiah Muralitharan has also come on board with the Sri Lanka coaching staff in an advisory capacity, and has already been working with the spin bowlers in the side, in the lead up to the upcoming home series against Bangladesh.
Vaas had expressed an interest in taking the role when SLC approached him in January, but was underwhelmed with the pay the board had offered him. The parties eventually reached an agreement late on Wednesday evening.
"We concluded successful negotiations with Vaas, where we discussed things like pay and his role in the coaching unit," SLC chief executive Ajit Jayasekara said. "He will be the head fast bowling coach, with the present coaches Champaka Ramanayake and Anusha Samaranayake working under him. He has taken so many wickets for Sri Lanka, and we are very happy to have concluded our talks to get him into the job. Vaas will also oversee the country's pace bowling academies."
SLC had hoped to sign Muralitharan as a full-time coach as well, but as he still plays in various domestic Twenty20 leagues, he could not commit to that position. Muralitharan is the most successful bowler in the history of the game, leading the Test and ODI wicket-takers lists, with 800 and 534 scalps respectively. Vaas is Sri Lanka's most successful fast bowler, with 355 Test wickets and 400 ODI wickets.
In addition to the coaching appointments, SLC also appointed Michael de Zoysa as the new team manager for one year, filling the position vacated by Charith Senanayake, whose deteriorating relationship with the board in recent weeks led to his replacement and resignation. De Zoysa has been involved in cricket administration with Sri Lanka's premier clubs, most notably Sinhalese Sports Club, has been a radio and TV commentator, and was also a tea industry executive.
This latest round of appointments came amid a slew of personnel changes at SLC, who also appointed two new captains and a new selection panel in the last month. A new cief executive will also come on board in April, and the positions of president, secretary and treasurer will be contested in the SLC elections late in March.
Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here