Sri Lanka news April 21, 2014

Farbrace torn over England role


Paul Farbrace has said that he has not yet made a commitment to England, and remains conflicted over whether to become their assistant coach or remain head coach of Sri Lanka, after talks with SLC yielded no concrete decisions on Monday.

He said there had been "nothing untoward" in his tenure with Sri Lanka that would drive him away from his current position, but admitted the prospect of working with England was an alluring one.

Soon after arriving in the country on Monday, Farbrace had met with a SLC delegation, which included board members, chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya, and Ranjit Fernando, who had headed the panel that proposed Farbrace as head coach.

Farbrace had laid out his position, and SLC had expressed a desire to keep him on board. Further talks are scheduled for Tuesday, when SLC may present incentives for Farbrace to remain in his current position.

"It's just about making sure that we would make the right decision," Farbrace told ESPNcricinfo. "It's a hard one because it's between the country of your birth and where you live and everything else, and yet I've had a wonderful time in Sri Lanka, even since the last time I was here. I understand people's upset and disappointment, but sometimes opportunities come and you have to decide what's the right one to take."

Farbrace's tenure has been marked by off-field upheaval, as much as on-field success. The team has lost only one out of 18 matches under his watch, but the players remain locked in a contracts dispute with the board, seven weeks after their previous agreements expired. Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara have also clashed with SLC officials over the announcement of their T20 retirements, but Farbrace said his experience in the role had not been soured by off-field events.

"I've thoroughly enjoyed my time with the Sri Lankan team. I did last time and I thoroughly enjoyed it this time. If I wasn't enjoying it, it would be a pretty easy decision to make," he said. "There's nothing untoward, sometimes an opportunity comes up and you have to give it 100% consideration. That's the same with any job. There's no story behind it or anything like that. It's just a case that since Thursday afternoon there's been some interest [from ECB], it's just a case of how far you take the interest."

Farbrace confirmed he had not applied for a role with England, and that it had been the ECB that approached him about the assistant coach role. SLC secretary Nishantha Ranatunga suggested the salary ECB had offered was beyond what SLC could match.

"If you look at it from a human point of view, I am sure they are paying him more than a board like us can pay him," Ranatunga said. "He didn't demand for anything from us, but said that the ECB had offered an attractive package. We indicated to him that we would like him to stay in the position.

"He had just arrived. He came straight to SLC from the airport, so we wanted him to have a rest and come back to us."

SLC's executive committee has been in discussions over how to take negotiations with Farbrace forward on Tuesday.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Mark on April 22, 2014, 10:32 GMT

    As someone said here previous he should stick with Sri Lanka. Yes its true he and his coaching staff molded Sri Lanka into a good unit. But as previously very unknown coaches such as Dav Whatmore and Tom Moody found out. Sri Lanka has immense cricketing talent. Previous coaches such as Whatmore and Moody and recent years Fabrace were fortunate as coaches to be working with genuinely very talented cricketers. Whose talent is the reason why they won 1996 World Cup and reached final of 2007 world cup final more than the coaches. Yet unknown coaches such as Dav Whatmore, Tom Moody and now Paul Fabrace market value went through the roof after the Sri Lanka successes. Generally Sri Lankan cricket never rated very highly English Coaches. They generally favored Australians. However little known Fabrace was an exception. Clearly SL thinks very highly of him and would like to keep him long term if he wants it.As previous commenter said.England is fickle and he could be out of work in a year.

  • Dal on April 22, 2014, 9:07 GMT

    all things aside, he has won the Asia Cup and Wt20 in the last couple of months. Why would you want to go to be an Assistant for England.

    If SLC want him then make a commitment to him, SLC and Jayasuriya are very good at talking the talk. Make him stay with an offer thats good for him and SLC

  • Dummy4 on April 22, 2014, 8:52 GMT

    Sri Lankan cricket has good players but as always, poor leadership in management and disgraceful financial handling.

  • Deepal on April 22, 2014, 8:39 GMT

    We SLC has a habit of leaving their coaches after a global triumph. Hence no wonder the way the SLC cricket is treating to a gossip this way, as it already happened in Sanga/Mahi saga. As far as I know, Paul has not spoken to SLC on ECB development. So why worry... If he think ECG is the place to be,, let it be. It's his passion and his career.Besides, his market value has gone up. If so. bring the best coach SL has ever produced - Chandika H. Most important thing is, whether he would repeat the comment made by Tom Moody IT IS INCREDIBLE TO BELIEVE THE WAY SL CRICKETERS ARE PERFORMING WHILST HAVING A HAVOC TIME WITH SLC.


  • Sathsara on April 22, 2014, 8:32 GMT

    You really can't expect a person to decline an offer with better benefits; specially when he's still on a probation period. It works two ways; what if SLC has asked him to leave before the probation period is over? At the end of the day, a job is about what is best for you and your family. If Paul wants to go, no one can/should stop him. It is his right. There were numerous occasions this has repeated in recent history and it will happen again. Sri Lanka cricket should bury the dead, dress the wounds and move on. It has been the secret of our success.

  • Dummy4 on April 22, 2014, 8:12 GMT

    It's what he does for a living, not a morale crusade. If his contract allows, he should do what he wants. Mind you, knowing the ECB, he could be out of work in a year anyway if he takes the job. Being a manager/coach in Sport is a fickle business so look after number one.

  • Dummy4 on April 22, 2014, 7:41 GMT

    it's right time to say good bye to mr. Fabrace. he took a big reputation as a coach after 20-20 victory of Sri Lanka. we clearly saw Sri Lanka is the best team in term of tactics during the last world cup. to be honest I think Fabrace and the supporting coaches are the men behind the succeed. fabrace point of view, this is his profession. he has full right to demand his benefits with his employers. even we all should know he is passing his probation period with SLC. so legally he has an ability to change his position. even ethically, as soon as arrived to SL he went to SLC to discuss this . Emotionally , definitely we can't accept his decision after stunning two months under his guidance. But Sri Lanka cricket should move on . We have highly reputed coaches like Chandika Hathurusingha,Roy Dias who definitely can guide SL to 2015 title. thanks

  • Mark on April 22, 2014, 7:39 GMT

    Farbrace had not really hit my radar as a coach until he joined Yorkshire where I saw him at first hand. He was very hands on with the first team despite having a title of second team coach and he seemed enthusiastic and to enjoy himself whilst coaching which rubbed off on to the players. This is exactly what England need at the moment so they should do anything needed to get him on board. Sorry Sri Lanka but in the short time he has been with you he has coached to 2 tournament successes but the attraction of being involved with your home country is a big pull.

  • Kanishka on April 22, 2014, 7:24 GMT

    I agree with some of the comments here Farbrace would have a much better reputation as a coach if he stays and if SL does very well in the next couple of years who wouldn't want the title of coach of a world cup winning side on their CV if SL do win the 2015 WC then you can add yet another accolade. Then he will be regarded along side Gary Kirsten as one of the most successful coaches in the game today. Yes, accepting the ENG job would mean being closer to his family and coaching his own country as well as a higher paycheck but really he would be playing second fiddle and there is a marked difference in recognition being a head coach compared to that of an assistant. BTW SL job has been a blessing for all new coaches just look how highly regarded Dav Whatmore and Tom Moody are after they left the SL coaching position.

  • Dummy4 on April 22, 2014, 6:25 GMT

    Well to be honest with you my first view was ''WHY THE HELL DO YOU WANT TO LEAVE US'' but then after a little more consideration you have to understand the factors,he will be coaching or assistant coaching the country of his birth as well as getting a higher pay,and he can also be with his family more so these all sure he will take it and as sri lankans we should understand the situation more carefully and put ourselves in his position,if so definitely without a blink of an eye most of us would take the opportunity with england..SL board will have to find a replacement fast,or appoint marvan headcoach

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