Sri Lanka news November 6, 2013

SL coach race down to Atapattu and Mark Davis

ESPNcricinfo staff
24

Sri Lanka have narrowed down the choices for the successor to national coach Graham Ford to two - former Sri Lanka captain Marvan Atapattu and little-known Mark Davis, who is part of Sussex's coaching staff.

An SLC release said a panel appointed by the executive committee had interviewed four candidates - three Sri Lankans and one foreigner - before reducing the number of contenders to two.

"Two candidates namely Marvan Atapattu and Mark Davis have been shortlisted for the final interview to be held in due course. The date for the final interview is yet to be finalised."

Sri Lanka A team coach Romesh Kaluwitharana and national fielding coach Ruwan Kalpage are believed to be the two applicants omitted from the final reckoning. SLC had earlier shortlisted five candidates, but Steve Rixon, who is thought have been among them, has since cooled on the prospect of coaching Sri Lanka, SLC secretary Nishantha Ranatunga suggested.

"The fifth shortlisted candidate didn't turn up," he said. "Probably he is not interested - he has not indicated why."

Ranatunga said Atapattu and Davis would be interviewed once more, "some time in the next 10 days to two weeks", but would not be drawn on what separated the final pair from the field of candidates beyond stating the board was "looking at various aspects". However, chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya, who is part of the committee appointed to nominate the coach, had earlier said the board would prefer a coach who would continue in the direction the team has set out on, during Ford's tenure.

Besides being one of Sri Lanka's finest openers, Atapattu, 42, has been the national team's batting coach since June 2011, before being promoted to assistant coach earlier this year. He also has coaching experience with Canada and Singapore.

Davis, 42, began his 15-year playing career with South Africa's Northern Transvaal province and ended in 2005 after five seasons at Sussex. Since then he has been part of the county's coaching staff.

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

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.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • priceless1 on November 8, 2013, 9:19 GMT

    im sorry , but im not impressed with Atapattu's performances as the Batting coach so far so how can any one give the head coach roll to him?

  • on November 8, 2013, 8:51 GMT

    Think marvan atapattu would make a great coach he would understand the player better especially the language would no longer be a barrier

  • DJyash on November 8, 2013, 0:02 GMT

    we saw what happen to india team when they appointed a local coach ,i think same will happen with srilanka if they appoint local coach because political involvement is too much in these boards.Mark Davis also not suitable for the job because this is a very high profile job and he is just a local team coach without any international experience ,yes some one can say ford also didn't have international experience in form of playear but he had international experience as a coach.We should find some other coach or srilanka cricket will go back to become the team we had in 1999 world cup.if they really can't find give the job to Davis just because he is a foreigner and will not involve in politics.

  • perla on November 7, 2013, 22:32 GMT

    Sri Lankan batting has gone from bad to worse since Marvan is functioning as the batting coach. In case Marvan becomes the head coach we can forget all our hopes for WC 2015. The dominating political influence in in SL cricket will lead us to a second class side for the next decade.

  • DilmahTea on November 7, 2013, 20:50 GMT

    http://www.espncricinfo.com/srilanka/content/story/648431.html

  • KingOwl on November 7, 2013, 12:51 GMT

    Nali_live has posted the stats for the two front runners, and based on that, argues for Marvan as the better coach. What ridiculous logic! This is the kind of fans SL has!!

  • CricketChat on November 7, 2013, 12:49 GMT

    Atapattu should get the job. It is about time SL pick a coach from their own country. Constant change of coaches will not help SL build a stable team that can express their own style of play. There are too many bits and pieces players in the team and the results are not great either.

  • onenick on November 7, 2013, 8:56 GMT

    dosent matter who comes to coach SL cricket..i guess as a head coach M.R , as batting coach G.R , as bowling coach B.R and as fielding coach sport minister M.Aluthgamage must selected cos there the one running the show in SL

  • Udendra on November 7, 2013, 7:13 GMT

    It's a shame that Steve Rixon didn't appear for the interview. He sure would have got the job.

  • wijeya on November 7, 2013, 4:43 GMT

    For those who say it should be Marvan Attapattu I would have to ask on what basis? He is coaching experience is limited to the likes of Singapore and Canada he has no real domestic coaching experience either. So far in his tenure it seems our batting has got a lot worse for the younger talents and we are left relying on the old guard to get us out of trouble.

    I can only assume that it is because he is sri lankan which in dealing with the politics is probably the worst thing to be ask Roy Dias. If you want a sri lankan the only one who is truly qualified is Chandika Hathrusinghe. This is a Sri Lankan who was limited as a international cricketer yet has made the transition to coach brillantly and is now coaching one of the Australian states. He can give the right structures and processes that we need yet still understand the cultrual challenges in SL.

  • priceless1 on November 8, 2013, 9:19 GMT

    im sorry , but im not impressed with Atapattu's performances as the Batting coach so far so how can any one give the head coach roll to him?

  • on November 8, 2013, 8:51 GMT

    Think marvan atapattu would make a great coach he would understand the player better especially the language would no longer be a barrier

  • DJyash on November 8, 2013, 0:02 GMT

    we saw what happen to india team when they appointed a local coach ,i think same will happen with srilanka if they appoint local coach because political involvement is too much in these boards.Mark Davis also not suitable for the job because this is a very high profile job and he is just a local team coach without any international experience ,yes some one can say ford also didn't have international experience in form of playear but he had international experience as a coach.We should find some other coach or srilanka cricket will go back to become the team we had in 1999 world cup.if they really can't find give the job to Davis just because he is a foreigner and will not involve in politics.

  • perla on November 7, 2013, 22:32 GMT

    Sri Lankan batting has gone from bad to worse since Marvan is functioning as the batting coach. In case Marvan becomes the head coach we can forget all our hopes for WC 2015. The dominating political influence in in SL cricket will lead us to a second class side for the next decade.

  • DilmahTea on November 7, 2013, 20:50 GMT

    http://www.espncricinfo.com/srilanka/content/story/648431.html

  • KingOwl on November 7, 2013, 12:51 GMT

    Nali_live has posted the stats for the two front runners, and based on that, argues for Marvan as the better coach. What ridiculous logic! This is the kind of fans SL has!!

  • CricketChat on November 7, 2013, 12:49 GMT

    Atapattu should get the job. It is about time SL pick a coach from their own country. Constant change of coaches will not help SL build a stable team that can express their own style of play. There are too many bits and pieces players in the team and the results are not great either.

  • onenick on November 7, 2013, 8:56 GMT

    dosent matter who comes to coach SL cricket..i guess as a head coach M.R , as batting coach G.R , as bowling coach B.R and as fielding coach sport minister M.Aluthgamage must selected cos there the one running the show in SL

  • Udendra on November 7, 2013, 7:13 GMT

    It's a shame that Steve Rixon didn't appear for the interview. He sure would have got the job.

  • wijeya on November 7, 2013, 4:43 GMT

    For those who say it should be Marvan Attapattu I would have to ask on what basis? He is coaching experience is limited to the likes of Singapore and Canada he has no real domestic coaching experience either. So far in his tenure it seems our batting has got a lot worse for the younger talents and we are left relying on the old guard to get us out of trouble.

    I can only assume that it is because he is sri lankan which in dealing with the politics is probably the worst thing to be ask Roy Dias. If you want a sri lankan the only one who is truly qualified is Chandika Hathrusinghe. This is a Sri Lankan who was limited as a international cricketer yet has made the transition to coach brillantly and is now coaching one of the Australian states. He can give the right structures and processes that we need yet still understand the cultrual challenges in SL.

  • on November 7, 2013, 3:57 GMT

    yes ricky ponting the man

  • Manujer on November 7, 2013, 3:31 GMT

    Mark Taylor would have been ideal as he holds most number of test wins, without a break. Even Clive Lloyd or Vivian Richards would have been fine.

  • Nali_live on November 7, 2013, 2:52 GMT

    Mark Davis First-class 127 18475 8368 232 8/37 36.06 2.71 79.6 5 1 List A 160 7294 5316 142 4/14 4/14 37.43 4.37 51.3 4 0 0 Twenty20 17 15 276 343 13 3/13 3/13 26.38 7.45 21.2 0 0 0

    Marvan Atapattu Tests 90 156 15 5502 249 39.02 16 17 685 4 58 0 ODIs 268 259 32 8529 132* 37.57 12594 67.72 11 59 734 15 70 0 T20Is 2 1 0 5 5 5.00 8 62.50 0 0 0 0 0 0 First-class 228 348 49 14591 253* 48.79 47 53 149 0 List A 329 319 45 10802 132* 39.42 18 71 91 0 Twenty20 3 1 0 5 5 5.00 8 62.50 0 0 0 0 1 0

  • trav696 on November 7, 2013, 2:10 GMT

    I would love to see stephen fleming in this role. I reckon Ricky Ponting is still a bit young for this role, but he would be the perfect coach when Sangakarra, Mahela and Dilshan retire (after the world cup probably).

  • on November 7, 2013, 1:43 GMT

    I think whoever has the best plan for doing something revolutionary with he SL bowling department and maintain the batting standards should get the job.....not forgetting the fielding. I think we have the basis of a good bowling team but they need high level coaching now. e.g. Lakmal needs to be coached by someone like McGrath. I think our bowlers need individual role models to mould them into the next level.

  • sl_supporter on November 7, 2013, 0:53 GMT

    I think Atapattu is going to get the job and it is going to be a disaster. Atapattu is there because of political backing. They are keeping Davis in the picture so that selection process look good. I am surprised given that WC is in Australia, they didn't go for an aussie coach who would have a good understanding of down-under conditions. If Atapattu becomes the head coach (I am sure he will be), that is the end of SL world cup campaign for 2015!

  • KingOwl on November 7, 2013, 0:42 GMT

    I have no idea who this Mark Davis is. What has he achieved? Sounds odd. Marvan may have some strengths as a coach. But having a local coach will be VERY problematic in the political environment. I have strong reservations about both. Being Assistant coach is one thing, when the head coach is a foreigner like Ford. But being the Head coach will be a different ball game altogether.

  • CricketFever11 on November 6, 2013, 23:28 GMT

    Should be davis.....I think foreign coach is better for them...............I think vass is the bowling coach. Kalpage is the Feilding coach. Now Marvan. 100% Sri Lankan right? Wont do any good. Should be mixed with foreign mind too........

  • CapeKolpak on November 6, 2013, 23:02 GMT

    Fleming would be ideal and would make a huge influence developing some of the talented young Sri Lankan left handers such as Paranavitana

  • on November 6, 2013, 17:59 GMT

    marvan Atapattu is the most suitable person for the job.

  • on November 6, 2013, 17:21 GMT

    stephen fleming should be the man.....or ricky ponting

  • rajithwijepura on November 6, 2013, 16:49 GMT

    Atapattu for sure. Being a Sri Lankan and the respect he gained from the players would be advantage. I thought Roy Dias would be appointed.

  • DwightR on November 6, 2013, 15:55 GMT

    pretty obvious that Atapattu should be the head coach of the two, a well respected SL batting legend who knows the current step-up and plan in place...plus a local who wont leave for family reasons in 2 years....this could be a great long term hire

  • morgie1982 on November 6, 2013, 15:43 GMT

    I heard Stephan Fleming had expressed his interest on this,What happen to him he should be a front runner for this because the team he rebuilt in past was a similar team to current Sri lankan team

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  • morgie1982 on November 6, 2013, 15:43 GMT

    I heard Stephan Fleming had expressed his interest on this,What happen to him he should be a front runner for this because the team he rebuilt in past was a similar team to current Sri lankan team

  • DwightR on November 6, 2013, 15:55 GMT

    pretty obvious that Atapattu should be the head coach of the two, a well respected SL batting legend who knows the current step-up and plan in place...plus a local who wont leave for family reasons in 2 years....this could be a great long term hire

  • rajithwijepura on November 6, 2013, 16:49 GMT

    Atapattu for sure. Being a Sri Lankan and the respect he gained from the players would be advantage. I thought Roy Dias would be appointed.

  • on November 6, 2013, 17:21 GMT

    stephen fleming should be the man.....or ricky ponting

  • on November 6, 2013, 17:59 GMT

    marvan Atapattu is the most suitable person for the job.

  • CapeKolpak on November 6, 2013, 23:02 GMT

    Fleming would be ideal and would make a huge influence developing some of the talented young Sri Lankan left handers such as Paranavitana

  • CricketFever11 on November 6, 2013, 23:28 GMT

    Should be davis.....I think foreign coach is better for them...............I think vass is the bowling coach. Kalpage is the Feilding coach. Now Marvan. 100% Sri Lankan right? Wont do any good. Should be mixed with foreign mind too........

  • KingOwl on November 7, 2013, 0:42 GMT

    I have no idea who this Mark Davis is. What has he achieved? Sounds odd. Marvan may have some strengths as a coach. But having a local coach will be VERY problematic in the political environment. I have strong reservations about both. Being Assistant coach is one thing, when the head coach is a foreigner like Ford. But being the Head coach will be a different ball game altogether.

  • sl_supporter on November 7, 2013, 0:53 GMT

    I think Atapattu is going to get the job and it is going to be a disaster. Atapattu is there because of political backing. They are keeping Davis in the picture so that selection process look good. I am surprised given that WC is in Australia, they didn't go for an aussie coach who would have a good understanding of down-under conditions. If Atapattu becomes the head coach (I am sure he will be), that is the end of SL world cup campaign for 2015!

  • on November 7, 2013, 1:43 GMT

    I think whoever has the best plan for doing something revolutionary with he SL bowling department and maintain the batting standards should get the job.....not forgetting the fielding. I think we have the basis of a good bowling team but they need high level coaching now. e.g. Lakmal needs to be coached by someone like McGrath. I think our bowlers need individual role models to mould them into the next level.