Sri Lanka news December 9, 2013

Farbrace has positive first interview with SLC

Former Sri Lanka assistant coach Paul Farbrace has been added to Sri Lanka Cricket's shortlist for the position of national coach, after a positive first interview, SLC secretary Nishantha Ranatunga has said. Farbrace will be asked to face a second interview sometime next week, as he, Marvan Atapattu and Mark Davis compete for the position.

"We spoke to him at SLC today, and it was a cordial discussion," Ranatunga said. "We told him what we are looking for and he gave us his plans and ideas. We will have the second round of interviews with him next week, which could happen over the phone, or in person."

Ranatunga said he could not disclose details of the interview, but said the board remained open to new candidates, even at this stage of the process. Farbrace had been among the 11 initial applicants for the role, but had then withdrawn, before intimating a renewed interest in the job to chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya. The board had by then narrowed its field of candidates down to Atapattu and Davis, but chose to accommodate Farbrace, who currently coaches Yorkshire's second XI.

"It's down to three, but we are open to anyone who is interested and has the right qualifications," Ranatunga said.

Farbrace had been Sri Lanka's assistant coach under Trevor Bayliss from 2007 to 2009, before leaving to become Kent's director of cricket.

He appears to be the frontrunner to become the next coach, given the board's lukewarm attitude towards the remaining candidates. There are doubts about Atapattu's ability to establish control of the side while former team-mate Kumar Sangakkara and former captain Mahela Jayawardene remain in it, and the little-known Davis has never been head coach of a first-class side.

Current coach Graham Ford will end his tenure with the team when the ongoing tour against Pakistan finishes on January 21. Ranatunga said the board would seek a final decision on who will take over by the end of the month.

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