Sri Lanka cricket November 20, 2013

SLC may look beyond Atapattu, Davis for national coach

Sri Lanka Cricket's hunt for the next national coach is not necessarily confined to its two-man shortlist of Marvan Atapattu and Mark Davis, CEO Ashley de Silva has confirmed.

SLC had narrowed its field of candidates down to Atapattu and Davis on November 6, stating they would carry out a final round of interviews with these two applicants. However, while either man could still end up with the job, it is possible the SLC will look further afield, if the board's executive committee deems it necessary.

The committee appointed to nominate the next coach will present its proposals to the executive committee over the next fortnight, and at least one of those proposals precludes both Atapattu and Davis from the position. De Silva, who is part of the coach-nomination committee, said the committee would be "giving some options" to the executive committee.

"The committee to nominate a coach met last week, and we will make our proposal to the executive committee," de Silva said. "Once the executive committee ratifies something, we will release it to the press. The executive committee meeting will hopefully be sometime next week - the date has not yet been set."

SLC was underwhelmed with the 11 candidates who initially applied for the role, and kept its application process open long beyond the initial deadline. The board also approached several high-profile coaches, including Greg Chappell and Tim Nielsen who turned SLC down, while talks with Steve Rixon broke down, largely over the question of pay.

The coach-nomination committee does not have a specific individual in mind, if neither Atapattu nor Davis are deemed suitable by the board. However, Dav Whatmore who coached Sri Lanka to a World Cup win in the first of his two stints with Sri Lanka, has recently become free, after the Pakistan Cricket Board chose not to extend his contract.

Atapattu has been Sri Lanka's batting coach since 2011, before he was promoted to the position of assistant coach in March this year. Davis is a relatively low-profile candidate, currently among the coaching staff at Sussex. He played first-class cricket in South Africa and England.

Current coach Graham Ford finishes his tenure with Sri Lanka at the end of January, after the team's away tour against Pakistan. He had opted not to renew his contract with SLC, citing family reasons.

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

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