Sri Lanka news October 21, 2013

New SL coach should continue Ford's work, says Jayasuriya


Sri Lanka Cricket would prefer a coach who is willing to continue the work Graham Ford has begun, rather than begin afresh, said coach-selection committee member and head selector Sanath Jayasuriya. Ford had decided to step down as national coach when his contract expired in January 2014.

The board has received 11 applications but is intent on casting a wider net and has also reached out to candidates it believes to be well-suited to the job. Former India coach Greg Chappell is among those who were approached by the board but he is understood to have declined, citing family reasons.

Sri Lanka's selectors have made blooding youth their priority in 2013, in anticipation of several high-profile retirements, and Jayasuriya said the incoming coach should commit to the long-term strategy Sri Lanka have already devised.

"We've got a few youngsters in the team and that is how it is going to be for the next few years," Jayasuriya said. "We need someone who can work hard with the youngsters and push them to achieve better results. The person that comes in has to really be willing to work hard in the right way and understand how to motivate these players."

Ford, in his 20 months with the team, has earned a reputation as one of the most industrious coaches Sri Lanka has had. He has also been credited by the senior players in particular for spurring development in their cricket. SLC had unsuccessfully attempted to persuade Ford to stay in the job after he had initially announced his decision to leave, and Jayasuriya said the new coach would ideally have Ford's vision and enterprise.

"Graham works very hard with each and every player on their game, and we need someone with exactly that kind of commitment. He has done some really good work with the youngsters."

Jayasuriya also said the new coach should "understand Sri Lankan culture", with an increasing number of cricketers now hailing from outside the urban centres. Present assistant coach Marvan Atapattu and fielding coach Ruwan Kalpage - both of whom are understood to have applied for the job - would fit this description, as well as being familiar with Ford's work and the selector's vision for the team, but Jayasuriya stopped short of stating they held an edge over the foreign candidates.

"We are looking at the local coaches as well," he said. "We'll have to see what they do in their presentation, but they are also going to be considered."

The coach selection committee will meet at the end of October, when committee chairman Ranjit Fernando returns from Bangladesh, where he is currently commentating on the ongoing New Zealand tour. They have until Ford vacates the position at the end of January to appoint the new coach, but both Fernando and Jayasuriya expressed a desire to make the appointment as soon as possible.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • ajith on October 23, 2013, 3:27 GMT

    we should have believe our self, that mean our past cricketers become now doing coaching, they are the brought srilanka cricket this much far, so let one of them do the job, otherwise we should have all the time looking forieng coaches when they leave their end of contract . this is the time give the job to our one of local coach.

  • Dummy4 on October 22, 2013, 21:03 GMT

    i think chandimal should bat at no 4 in both test and odi. mahela should open the batting

  • aruna on October 22, 2013, 12:24 GMT

    @chandima88 --- Do you think you know about Cricket than MAN WHO PLAYED INTERNATIONAL CRICKET FOR 2 DECADES ??? And if you ever seen dilhara lokuhettige bowl? he is nowhere near the international standards. And look at akila dananjaya's last 10 innings bowling figures. He is been out of form for a while now. So if you know anything about cricket you can think of the reason why they are left from the team. And about RAMITH RABUKWELLA'S inclusion to the 20twenty squad, worse players than him played for SRI LANKA before. So it is not a big deal.

  • aruna on October 22, 2013, 11:57 GMT

    I think jayasuriya did great job as a selector.I like to ask from the people who comment against jayasuriya YOU GUYS KNOW ABOUT CRICKET THAN A MAN WHO PLAYED INTERNATIONAL CRICKET FOR 2 DECADES ???. So please think twice before you post a comment in a public web site. Just because sanath became a PM, every decision he made aren't influenced by political resons. And sanath made very good points about who will be sri lankan coach.

  • Dummy4 on October 22, 2013, 11:46 GMT

    Every one talking about youngster in sri lankan team . And also saying they are not performing well . New coach must have a good vision on that . Lets look at why our youngsters failing . Sanga is playing at 3 always but sri lanka looking for Thirimanna to 3 but unfortunately his batting attitude only suitable on number 3 ( Retain wicket and low scoring rate ) . While he is put on to another place he and also the team in the trouble . Why sri lanka cant have a rotation policy on sanga and thirimanna , or why cant sanga bat lower in the order . Next person Chandimal always he is begging for a place to bat. management put him every where . He is a talent . I think management destroyed his mentality by putting every where . Sometimes bowlers bat before him . Where is Mathews he bats everywhere and nowhere . As a summary please give chance to Thirimanna , Chandimal and Mathews bat 3 ,4 , 5 and drop sanga mahela to lower places . Otherwise even the best coach in world will provide nothig

  • Dru on October 22, 2013, 10:46 GMT

    @StraightHit, hit the nail on the head! There must be some stability at the coaching position in SL which has changed too much and with much controversy. May be it's time to try a local coach and ironically one of the best local coaches in Hathurusinghe fell out with SLC and went to Australia. Interesting Sanath speaks of visions for youngsters when they selected a tried, tested failed Mubarak recently while a few deserving youngsters sat on the benches or in the crowd!

  • Dummy4 on October 22, 2013, 2:43 GMT

    It is sad to see the comment on Chandimal's century at Lords. You don't know how important it is to a budding cricketer like him. I think he deserves that century because he is the one who took us to the victory on that particular match. I'm sure he is not a selfish cricketer like some other senior guys we have already seen...don't discourage these young cricketers please..... Kaushal, Kusal, Dimuth, Ashan Priyanjan, Chaturanga, Sachithra Senanayake, Udara Jayasundara are our future players....Good luck to you guys....!!!.

  • Warren on October 21, 2013, 21:52 GMT

    if SL are to have any success in the 15 WC, they shouldn't depend on coaches alone. at the moment the rest depend heavily on Mehela and Sanga which has always been Sri Lanka's trend even when Jayasuriya is to go out to bat. we need to get back to when the team was with Arujuna and the clan. we have potential in the youngsters but they fail to deliver. they have to take the responsibility to play sensible shot selection and win the game. i personally think SL lost the opportunity of a good coach by sacking Mash. i don't see anything attractive with the new list of coaches other than Fleming. and selection of players to should closely looked at. i was surprised when Jaya selected Mubarak in the recent time this was the biggest joke, tells me it was power over quality(its not going to produce results). we need to look for better faster bowlers and batsmen.

  • Tony on October 21, 2013, 16:31 GMT

    It's absurd that most of the senior players are still playing all 3 formats and clearly struggling and no one having the guts to tell them to retire and at least focus solely on test cricket. It's a shame Greg Chappell has declined because I'm sure with his no-nonsense approach a lot of positive changes would have been made. Young players like Chandimal who delays team goals like winning games to put his personal goals like scoring a century ahead in priority need to be told that it should not be tolerated especially when you're representing Sri Lanka. Sadly I don't think we'll achieve this with a local coach. I have to disagree with Sana and believe that we should start afresh after Ford. Sanga and Mahela will be 38 at the next world cup and no doubt in the lead up there will be a few hamstrings torn between now and then and we should start grooming youngsters NOW. The problem is I don't think the board will really leave much margin for error with performances with the new coach.

  • Dummy4 on October 21, 2013, 16:14 GMT

    starting from Dav Whatmore there were many foreign coaches and many national players around them.learn the modern way,and many of former players passed the levels of coaching courses.some of them started coach clubs. so get the initiate and come guys are not less than the foreigners.if you play the same game why you can't come up with new ideas..?

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