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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Janaka on November 25, 2013, 12:08 GMT

    Confidence is the key for success. If you are not confident about your decision, I don't think Sri Lanka cricket will succeed. Whoever it is, it must be a confident choice. There cannot be testing times. How silly is that? From top to bottom, Sri Lanka cricket is not confident. That's the disaster. The frontiers must be ashamed of themselves for such behaviour. If you choose Marvan, choose him with enough confidence, else don't choose anyone until someone is understood. If you don't understand his abilities after years of experiences with him, don't choose him at all. Don't be so silly. Take Arjuna for an example. By then, we didn't have the best team on earth, but he had confidence in our team, that we could win the world cup. Bowlers like Pramodya could do nothing whereas Australia was full of good bowlers, batsmen. Not to make fun of them, but that was the truth. But we won. If SLC head cannot take an action properly, please leave.

  • Devin on November 23, 2013, 11:18 GMT

    I think that it should be a collaboration. As several countries are finding at the moment, it is time for a local coach. Sure ChandikaH has played at the highest level and is successful right now as a coach. However, Marvan was a specialist batsmen of a higher distinction.

    I think it should be a team, both of them should be involved with SL cricket. Certainly Marvan should be involved with the batting.

    By the way what is Champaka Ramanayake's role - does he still have the bowling coach role?

  • J on November 22, 2013, 21:18 GMT

    Hathurasinghe is doing very well in Australia. Australians have recognised him as a great coach and getting the best out of him. Unfortunately, SLC has a politically motivated agenda and not valuing his ability as a coach. If they are seriously considering a Sri Lankan to coach their team then Hathurasinghe is their man.

  • sl on November 21, 2013, 14:21 GMT

    I agree 100% here, look at Chandi then and now. Who is responsible? The batting coach! God bless sl cricket and that is all I can say. I am not keeping much hopes in 2015 world cup given the state of administrators in SLBC.

  • Shamalka on November 21, 2013, 11:39 GMT

    Just imagine! Marvan as the head coach and Chandimal is the T20 captain...God bless Sri Lanka Cricket...

  • Dark on November 21, 2013, 10:00 GMT

    @ Htc-Android; Couldn't agree more mate! He is the one we need right now... Please Dev.. Come back to SL and make this young, talented mediocre team into a world class team... Imagine if he tried to change the way Murali bowls or Sanath Batting! He is a coach who would let the players play their natural game by giving them enormous confidence in their ability! We need you Dev. Whatmore can I say?

    Marvan was a very good captain and a batsman, but he is no good coach. All he does is giving excuses as the batting coach. As die hard SL fans, Stop giving us excuses, We need positive results!

  • associate cricket fan on November 21, 2013, 3:52 GMT

    We should bring Dave whatmore back. When he took over the coaching role, players like Sanath, Vass, Mahanama, turned out to be world class players. I am sure he can do the same with Chandimal, Thirimanne and Mathews as well and he is someone who knows our players very well. To be honest, We should have never let him go.

  • Online on November 20, 2013, 23:27 GMT

    Mark Davis seems to be keen on the job. He is a young, up-and-coming coach and sees this job as an oppurtunity to develop his coaching skills. He would, therefore, give his best and Sri Lanka can surely benefit from him. He is, in my humble opinion, the best candidate.

  • Dummy4 on November 20, 2013, 19:33 GMT

    Atapattu has ruined Chandimal and Tiri and where did he larn coaching? Is the pay low so that job is tailor made for him. Bring back Haturu or Dave if not it will be a catastrophy. If A is appointed he will have pressure to perform. How did he become Asst coach without an interview/ Ranjan Rodrigo

  • Nilantha on November 20, 2013, 15:13 GMT

    i second Stel En's comment - SLC show some brains and please bring Dav back towhere he belongs and have marvan as his deputy and Vaasy as bowling coach...he will do right by us again and will be free from a contract come Feb...

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