Sri Lanka news October 25, 2013

Three local coaches in SLC's shortlist

Three local coaches are in contention to become the next national coach as the board cut the field of applicants down to five candidates, Sri Lanka Cricket has said. Each of the shortlisted candidates will be interviewed in the coming weeks by the committee appointed to nominate the head coach, and their decision will then be put forward to the executive committee for ratification.

"A report compiled by the committee appointed to nominate the national head coach was tabled at the executive committee meeting," an SLC release said. "As recommended by the committee, the executive committee requested them to conduct the interviews for the shortlisted candidates."

The board had initially received 11 applications for the role, but SLC then attempted to woo other candidates which it believed would be well-suited to the job. Former India coach Greg Chappell and former Australia coach Tim Nielsen both fielded inquiries from SLC, but did not pursue the role, citing family reasons.

Current coach Graham Ford also cited family reasons for his decision not to extend his contract, which expires after Sri Lanka's away Test series against Pakistan in January.

Earlier in the week, chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya, who also sits on the coach-selection committee, told ESPNcricinfo the board's ideal candidate would effectively extend the systems and long-term strategies implemented during Ford's tenure, rather than seek a fresh start. Assistant coach Marvan Atapattu and fielding coach Ruwan Kalpage have worked with Sri Lanka team throughout Ford's term, and at least one of them is expected to be among the shortlisted applicants.

Sri Lanka has not had a long-term local coach since Roy Dias finished his tenure with the side after the 1999 World Cup.

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