Sri Lanka News October 8, 2013

Farbrace 'flattered' by Sri Lanka interest

Paul Farbrace had admitted he is "flattered" to have been connected with the role of Sri Lanka coach.

Farbrace, who is currently Yorkshire second XI coach, spent a couple of years as assistant coach to the Sri Lanka side between July 2007 and August 2009, and has now confirmed that he is among those talking to Sri Lanka Cricket about the possibility of succeeding Graham Ford, who leaves the post of head coach when his contract expires in January.

"It's nice to know people think I did a good enough job the last time I was there," Farbrace told ESPNcricinfo. "I think we rose to No. 2 in the Test rankings and No. 2 or 3 in the ODI rankings, so it was a successful period. We were in the final of the World T20 just before I went and the team went on to make it to the final of the World Cup, too.

"I haven't sought the job, but I have had a couple of conversations with people on the Sri Lankan cricket board who sounded out about my interest. I talk to Graham quite often, too. I informed Yorkshire of the conversations and, while I think they want to keep their current coaching group together, they have been very supportive."

Farbrace already has a strong relationship with many of the key figures in Sri Lankan cricket. But he feels his relationship with many of the players was strengthened by his experiences in Lahore in March 2009 when the team bus was attacked by heavily-armed terrorists. Farbrace, whose right arm was hit by shrapnel, was among those injured in the attack.

"I do think that when you experience something like that together, it strengthens bonds," he said. "It was a huge experience and I will be forever grateful for the way the Sri Lankan board and the players supported me when I was recovering.

"The incident had nothing to do with me going. I always felt safe in Sri Lanka - the people are wonderful - and I enjoyed my time there hugely. It's a great country, with great people and a real passion for cricket. I came very close to staying, actually. I even wrote the first letter of my name on the new contract they offered me but, in the end, the lure of being director of cricket at Kent, the club I had been with and supported as a boy, proved too strong."

Farbrace was also keen to reiterate his commitment to Yorkshire and stressed his enthusiasm for his current role. "Yorkshire is a great place to be and I'm not in any way looking to leave," he said. "In fact, the last two years have been as good as any in my career. We have a top team on and off the pitch. I'd very happily stay here for several more years and be a part a club that is going to win trophies.

"But clearly when a top international job crops up, it is interesting. We encourage players to be ambitious and it should be the same for coaches. It's good to want to do as well as you can in your career.

"I'm sure there are many talented coaches in the running for the role and these are early days. But I do have a strong affinity for Sri Lanka and it I'm very flattered to be considered for such a role."

Mark Arthur, Yorkshire's Chief Executive, said: "It is inevitable with the progress Yorkshire has made on the pitch over the last couple of years, and with the number of players representing England at all levels, that our coaches will be in the frame for international appointments, as and when positions become available."

While some reports have also linked Peter Moores, the Lancashire head coach, with the role, the club have stated that Moores is contracted to them until 2015 and they have received no approaches from third parties interested in his services.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo