Sri Lanka news December 1, 2013

'High-profile coach will expect 100% more pay' - SLC secretary

Sri Lanka Cricket would have to double the pay it offers for the post of head coach if it is to attract a high-profile candidate, SLC secretary Nishantha Ranatunga has said. The board had been underwhelmed by the 11 applications it had received for the job, and continues to explore its options despite having shortlisted two coaches.

Talks with higher-profile coaches like Greg Chappell and Tim Nielsen had not been successful, while Steve Rixon said the salary SLC offered was "embarrassing" for the position of a national coach.

The board has been mired in debt since the 2011 World Cup, for which SLC built two new stadiums and overhauled a third. The lack of incoming tours in 2013 and 2014 has since frustrated the SLC's attempts to overcome their debt, as income from broadcast rights has dwindled.

"A high-profile coach will definitely expect 100% more than what we offer," Ranatunga told Ceylon Today. "We have offered the best we could based on our income. Certain countries earn more than 800% to what we earn, so we need to have a rationale in terms of expenses.

"Coaches today prefer to spend more time with their families. The young generation of coaches looks for short-term assignments where they can make a quick buck and then also dedicate more time to their families. So, tournaments like the IPL and Big Bash have given them an opportunity to earn more while spending less time [on the job]."

Ranatunga said, however, the board may rethink the coach's salary, if an outstanding candidate shows interest.

"If the issue is solely the price, we are happy to look at that. Most of the money is brought into the country by the national team, so there's no question, we need to add value to them. If we get the right guy, the pricing is something that we can always look into."

While Marvan Atapattu appears to be the present frontrunner, the board is also considering the appointment of an interim coach that would take charge until the 2015 World Cup. Atapattu played a considerable portion of his international career in the company of Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara, with Jayawardene having captained him from 2006 to 2008. There is some thought within the board that their presence in the team would compromise Atapattu's control of the side.

"Marvan has the qualification, but I personally prefer him to work under another coach till 2015 and take over after that. It's better for him as well as Sri Lanka cricket. If you look at our coaching staff they boast of much international experience. If this process took place in some other country like Australia, Pakistan or Bangladesh they would jump and take Marvan.

"We are quite open [to other options] even now. Marvan has played good cricket, has captained the national side, and does understand what a World Cup means to the country. Besides he is someone who understands our cricketing culture and he has proved himself to be a good leader. So he has done enough to justify his selection, but then it all depends on what the selection committee believes."

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