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