Sri Lanka news November 22, 2013

SLC denies Rixon asked for interview


Sri Lanka Cricket has denied it requested Australia assistant coach, Steve Rixon, to travel to Sri Lanka for an interview as part of the board's appraisal of candidates for the position of Sri Lanka head coach. In a statement released to ESPNcricinfo, the board said Rixon had been informed he would be required for an in-person interview if he had been shortlisted, but talks with him did not progress that far.

Rixon had, this week, been scathing of the notion he should have to interview for the role, given the visibility of his track record. He had said the pay SLC had offered him for the job was "embarrassing" for the position of a national coach.

"Sri Lanka Cricket would like to clarify that at no stage was [Rixon] shortlisted, neither was he asked to appear for an interview," the statement said. "SLC always follows the proper procedures and correct processes in recruitment and would never consider any applicant who is not prepared go through the proper process."

Both Rixon and the board agree that he did not formally apply for the role, but the board said it was Rixon who had made initial contact, when he "intimated his desire to be the head coach of the Sri Lankan team," through a third party. The board also rejected Rixon's suggestion that the board had been lax in its communication with him, and said it was instead Rixon who had been unresponsive, hastening the end of their interaction.

"SLC acting CEO, Mr. Ashley De Silva, contacted Mr. Rixon via telephone, and during the discussion he inquired about the package that is associated with the said post," the statement said. "Since it was inappropriate to disclose the package over the phone, SLC forwarded the current package and requested him to keep it confidential, and if he is shortlisted for the post, he will have to face an interview in Sri Lanka.

"Mr. Rixon responded indicating that the package disclosed to him was not attractive enough for him to consider. ln order to pursue the matter further, SLC requested him to indicate an amount of his expectation. However, there was no response from Mr. Rixon to-date."

Sri Lanka had initially shortlisted five candidates from their pool of 11 applications, before narrowing the field further, to two candidates. However, although current assistant coach Marvan Atapattu and Mark Davis comprise the two-man shortlist, the board has said their search is not necessarily confined to the remaining candidates.

The new coach's first assignment will be Sri Lanka's full tour of Bangladesh, after Graham Ford steps down at the end of January. Ford had opted not to renew his contract, citing family reasons.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • dummy4fb on November 24, 2013, 14:53 GMT

    Start career with five 0s and then returned to team after seven years is really hard if someone don't have enough courage. Marvan lead the team until injuries force him to leave the team. there will be lot to learn from Marvan for modern day cricketers. But i personally prefer Mark Davis especially he has learnt sport psychology. what i feel is our players got the talent but they really poor when moral have to play. i have notice that young players don't have the self confidant that is the reason often they get panic in the middle. Sri Lanka cricket should employee a person who can boost players moral if coach him self not a master of that. if they don't have budget still there is an option that's let Arjuna Ranatunga to give them a lecture.

  • miles100 on November 24, 2013, 11:54 GMT

    If we can find a local coach who is not influenced by the authorities, we have massive amounts of good coaches in SL who has more sense about the game than so many foreign coaches. However the coach should be an inspirational speaker who can bring the team together when the lads are down during challenging games. With Marvan what we don't know is, other than his cricket knowledge if he is an inspirational speaker to bring the lads together off the field. If he is , then he is the ideal for the job. Even the captain should posses those good qualities.

  • Metro-ant on November 24, 2013, 9:03 GMT

    It was good for SLC to stand up for themselves. But it seems like the players are playing for their careers and not for their country. When Australia was starting to drop spots in the rankings at the end of their golden era around the start of the first IPL how many of their players joined? They sacrificed the possibility of earning thousands in IPL to improve their test form. Same with England though SA is an exception because they've been able to manage the workload and maintain their performances. No one in Sri Lanka is willing to make that sacrifice. You can only imagine the uproar if Michael Clarke joined IPL while the test team is ranked 5 or under but even the coaches in the past have been frightened to make bold decisions in Sri Lanka since we only hire rookie international coaches.

  • Yasi_Gee on November 23, 2013, 21:59 GMT

    please get a foreign coach, we could give another chance to Dev Watmore?

  • ThilankaK on November 23, 2013, 15:22 GMT

    NO Atapattu !!! Get Chandika Hathurusinghe for head coach & his assistant Romesh Kaluvitharana , Bowling coach should be Waqar or Waseem assistant Vaas , Get one month Spin Bawling coach session with saqlain mushtaq ( lot of off spinners & left arm left arm orthodox bowlers can learn art of spin & doosra ) & Shane warne ( can make Jevan Mendis & others are good leg spinners ) , fielding coach should be Dulip Mendis ( now our fielding drop down heavily, those days dulip made SL was best fielding side) , I think we can do that for low budget.

  • wearetheworldsbest_bleedblue on November 23, 2013, 8:16 GMT

    Please get Dev.. get him back to SL to 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!

  • FAB_ALI on November 23, 2013, 7:33 GMT

    Dave Whatmore is about to be released by Pakistan...Get him!!!!!!!

  • Nishara_Silva on November 23, 2013, 7:05 GMT

    Can't we go for Aravinda De Silva? The Legendary cricketer Sri Lanka has ever produce..

  • Udendra on November 23, 2013, 4:54 GMT

    Please, anyone except Atapattu.

  • dummy4fb on November 23, 2013, 4:52 GMT

    Attapattu has done nothing as batting coach. Has any one of our tailenders batting improved post Attapattu era? those are what a batting coach should improve on.

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