Paul Farbrace in running for SL coaching job
Paul Farbrace, Sri Lanka's former assistant coach, is again in the reckoning for the position of Sri Lanka's national coach, after he intimated a renewed interest in the job, Sri Lanka Cricket has said. Farbrace had initially applied, but withdrawn his candidacy early in the process, and though the board did not name him among the two shortlisted men for the job, it has nevertheless asked him to come to Sri Lanka for an interview, on Monday.
SLC secretary Nishantha Ranatunga said Farbrace had made known his interest to chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya, whom Farbrace had worked with during his stint as Sri Lanka's assistant coach from 2007 to 2009. The coach selection process has meandered since the vacancy was advertised in September, after a deadline extension and talks with several high-profile coaches failed to yield a strong field of candidates.
"After we extended the deadline for the application process, probably Farbrace thought we would not consider him and withdrew," Ranatunga said. "He has told Sanath that he is interested again, so the committee that selects the coach recommended that we ask him to be available for an interview."
Ranatunga said the board had not altered the remuneration it offers for the position, despite the low pay having been a dealbreaker for several prospective coaches, but he said SLC was open to reviewing its offer if it encounters an outstanding candidate.
Current assistant coach Marvan Atapattu, and Mark Davis, were the shortlisted candidates but the board has not been convinced either man can perform the role, particularly over the next 16 months. There are doubts over whether Atapattu can establish total control over a side in which former team-mate Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene are senior players, and Davis has never coached a first-class side.
Currently the coach of Yorkshire's second XI, Farbrace had previously said he had a "strong affinity for Sri Lanka" as well as good relationships with many of the players he coached during his time with the Sri Lanka team. He joined Yorkshire in 2012 and the club said that they had "reluctantly" allowed Farbrace to discuss moving on.
"We have given permission for Sri Lanka Cricket to speak to Paul," Yorkshire's chief executive, Mark Arthur, said. "We were approached last week and ... we have reluctantly agreed for Paul to travel to Sri Lanka next week to open talks with the Sri Lanka Cricket Board.
"Paul has done a tremendous job in developing the exciting talent that is starting to come to fruition at the club. Over the past couple of years, he has been an integral part of our success in developing players for first-team cricket. It would be a great shame to lose someone of Paul's talent but we are well aware of his own personal ambitions."
Sri Lanka's current coach Graham Ford chose not to renew his contract, and will finish his tenure after the tour to the UAE, in late January.
Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here