Sri Lanka news November 24, 2013

SLC may appoint an interim coach


Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) may appoint an interim coach between the 2014 World Twenty20 and the 2015 World Cup, as it awaits the retirement of three senior batsmen. The committee appointed to nominate the next coach proposed this measure, among others, because there is a train of thought that while assistant coach Marvan Atapattu is capable of coaching the side in the long term, he may not have full control of the team as long as Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara and Tillakaratne Dilshan are in it.

This is largely believed to be because the senior players had played alongside Atapattu for a considerable portion of his career, with Jayawardene having captained him from 2006 until his retirement in 2008. There is still a chance that Atapattu, or indeed Mark Davis, will take the reins immediately after Graham Ford's departure in late January, but the coach-nomination committee felt the need to present the board's executive committee with a number of options, given the lack of a pre-eminent candidate.

If an interim coach is appointed, he will take Sri Lanka through full tours of England and New Zealand, as well as the World Cup, in roughly one year. If SLC feels it does not have time to find an interim coach before February, Atapattu will likely step into the head coach role for Sri Lanka's ten-week stint in Bangladesh, where they will play a full tour, the Asia Cup and the World Twenty20.

This option is one of the plans the SLC's executive committee will vote on in its next meeting, scheduled for the first week of December.

The executive committee is also likely to review the present salary structure offered to foreign coaches, which compared to other countries is measly. A foreign coach is offered approximately US$ 12,000-15,000 a month in Sri Lanka, but the current market rate of a high profile coach is around US$ 25,000-30,000 or more. Last week, Australia assistant coach Steve Rixon said the pay attached to Sri Lanka's national coaching job was "embarrassing".

"The executive committee is expected to make a final call on whether to appoint a full-time head coach at the moment, or to look further than that," said SLC acting CEO Ashley de Silva. "We have given some recommendations and it is up to them to make a final decision."

Atapattu has been Sri Lanka's batting coach since 2011, and became assistant coach earlier this year. Mark Davis is part of the coaching staff at Sussex, and though he has never coached a county, or a national side, he is the highest qualified of the candidates who have applied for the job. Davis has a Level 4 certificate and he is also a graduate in sports psychology.

Appointing Atapattu until the first week of April would give SLC time to take a decision on whether they should look beyond the two candidates to find a credible foreign coach till the end of the 2015 World Cup at least. The next coach would then take over from the tour of England, which starts in mid-May next year.

Although 11 candidates responded to SLC's advertisement for a head coach, none of them had credentials to compare with past and present coaches, who had held that post and performed creditably. The sacking of former Australian cricketer and coach Geoff Marsh, and the subsequent payment of US$ 125,000 as out of court settlement following a lawsuit filed by Marsh, made other coaches wary of applying for the job.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Shehan on November 28, 2013, 6:36 GMT

    I don't think Marven will have any problem coping with Mehela, Dilshan and Sanga as said in the article. They are very professional sportsmen and very down to earth personalities.

  • Serath on November 27, 2013, 22:36 GMT

    I think this problem is just the tip of the iceberg. Also, I believe this is a very critical time for SL cricket as number of issues are coming to a head, i.e. the coaching issues, potential retirement of recognise players, challenges with money and the ongoing saga of politics in the game. Therefore it is important to make the right decisions however our current processors are corrupt because it's driven by individuals with personal ambition and hidden agendas. This leaves our team very vulnerable and future looking bleak. So at fans I believe we need to look below the presenting issues and address the core problems with the team. We need people involved in the current body of SLC speak up about the issues so they can be addressed transparently and honestly.

  • Dummy4 on November 26, 2013, 12:46 GMT

    @SriLankanYoungBlood - Look at the best current T20 player Chris Gayle. He knows when to hit a six, when to hit a 4 and when to get a single. That's what I mentioned. You can't hit every ball a 6 or a 4. I didn't mention anything about Mahela here and anything about any other senior player here. We need 6,4 hitters for T20s. We need players like Kusal and Thisara for T20s. But these selectors using the same cards here and there and in between a henchman comes into play.

  • Sanjay on November 25, 2013, 18:43 GMT

    Hmm,'s actually very mature to recognize the issue(s) that senior players create. We saw it with the Indian team a few years back when Greg Chappell was appointed altho in fairness Chappell still hasn't figured out that he needed to adapt his methods.

    All this brings to the forefront team vs individuals. When individuals become bigger than the team, a coach will always have problems extracting optimum performance. Otis Gibson faces this issue with the West Indies.

    Duncan Fletcher has been far more influential once senior players were removed from the Indian side. His influence will be at its greatest in SA, an environment that he knows like the back of his hand.

    I can see the logic in SL appointing an interim coach, the big problem is guaging when the last of the senior players will retire. Given their form, it could be several years yet.

  • Dinesh on November 25, 2013, 11:57 GMT

    Why not appoint Aravinda ? He was is the best batsman in from yesteryears of Sri-Lanka.

  • Dru on November 25, 2013, 9:56 GMT

    So its back to the "interim" stage and SLC! I don't even understand how this can be an option. Surely appointing Marvan is better than an interim coach. What is the role of the interim coach? He cant start anything meaningful as he is the interim coach. Its like a meaningless appointment. I would rather appoint a coach than an interim coach. SLC has known of the vacancy for a long time and now announce an interim coach for a period including 2 world cups is just plain disappointing.

  • Buddhika on November 25, 2013, 7:51 GMT

    @Ranil Fernando like 99% of SL Fans u didn't understand what's T20 cricket. and like 99% SL fans u hails seniors and insulting youngsters. it's totally opposite way of other countries. T20 is not 1,2 games it's 4 or 6 game.u question about kusal but did any other senior played at least 1 kusal played 2. u question ab kusal but what about many chances given by him in his many drop chances?still giving. if kusal not palyed that brave knock SL will be losing side. say about Marvan's Coach it's absolute disaster.i can't express him "Better" than that

  • Sarath on November 25, 2013, 2:37 GMT

    Schoolboy Bat;UmeshKarunarathna the Best Schoolboy Cricketer(2008) (all-rounder), Chathuranga Kumara(all-rounder),Charith Jayampathi(all-rounder),and the most consistent spinners in the Country ;Senanayake Ajantha,MalindaPushpakumara,Tharindu Khausal&DulanjanaMendis(Stats courtesy Cricinfo & local papers)

  • Sarath on November 25, 2013, 2:37 GMT

    & Ravidra Jadeja were brought into the Indian team soon after their brilliant performances after the YWC in Malaysia, but the J&Ps have completely ignored the same class of players( that excels at the same YWC) in Roshen Silva & SachithPathirana, though Pathirana has lost his form and interest, Roshen has been brilliant ever since as a Domestic player. Many a promising cricketers of the Country have given up the Game soon after leaving School, because of this poor mentality of J&Ps. It's a heinous crime to overlook the undermentioned players and give their places to henchmen. The 4 seniors have to be replaced sooner than later, with Khausal Silva,RoshenSilva, AngeloPerera The Best Schoolboy Bat(2009), Bhanuka Rajapaksha The Best Schoolboy Bat of 2010&2011(1 of the 3 best batters of 2010 Youth WC), KithruwanWithanage, Gayan Maneshan,ShehanJayasuriya,AshenSilva,SachithraSerasinghe, Niroshan Dickwella, PrabasaraWaduge (The Best Schoolboy Bats2012) Kusal Mendis the current Best 2bCNTD

  • Sarath on November 25, 2013, 2:36 GMT

    If Marvan was to be given the position of the National Coach, the removal of the 3 senior batters & the left-armer, from all 3 formats that deprives the places of the promising youngsters (the J&Ps want them to score all the runs & take all the wkts in the match and become leading run getters & wkt taker, making the Team to loose its position in the list of World rankings cos none of them can perform under pressure and in adverse conditions ) has to be done at the same time, even if we lose few matches for the start, otherwise our future will be at a very sorry state in another 2-3 years' time with the joker in office. There is no way one can accommodate henchmen at National level. The promising youngsters has to be identified when they are still in their teens but not 5-6 years after,(for that to happen we need personalities like S Skanderkumar, RanjanMadugalle, Roy Dias as selectors ) as it has been happening for the last 20-25 years with the J&Ps; e.g. Virat Kholi 2bCNTD

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