Sri Lanka news April 22, 2014

Farbrace quits as Sri Lanka coach


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Farbrace knowledge invaluable - Bell

Paul Farbrace, the Sri Lanka coach, has resigned with immediate effect in order to take up a role with the ECB, Sri Lanka Cricket has confirmed. The development came a day after Farbrace returned to Colombo and met with SLC officials to discuss his position, following reports that he had been approached by the ECB to become assistant coach to Peter Moores, the new England coach.

Farbrace had been expected to have further meetings with SLC on Tuesday, but had sent in his letter of resignation before the board had had a chance meet him. SLC secretary Nishantha Ranatunga said that although the board regretted his decision to leave the role, they had understood the reasons behind it.

Significantly better pay and a desire to work in the country of his birth are believed to be the primary reasons for Farbrace's early departure from Sri Lanka. After talks on Monday, Ranatunga said Farbrace had been offered an "attractive package" by ECB, the likes of which SLC could not hope to match. The salary SLC had offered had been deemed too modest by several high-profile coaches, before Farbrace, who was Yorkshire's second XI coach at the time, was signed by the board.

Farbrace was a little over three months into his two-year contract with SLC. His tenure was marked by off-field upheaval, as much as on-field success. Sri Lanka lost only one out of 18 matches under his watch, winning the World T20 and Asia Cup in that time, but at his time of departure, the players remained locked in a contracts dispute with the board, seven weeks after their previous agreements expired. Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara also clashed with SLC officials over the announcement of their T20 retirements. Farbrace said, however, his experience in the role had not been soured by off-field events.

He had also said he had not applied for the England position, but was approached by the ECB on Thursday, two days before the ECB confirmed Moores as head coach. It is understood Moores had a major say in who he wanted to work with and was strongly in favour of Farbrace.

SLC have not yet worked out the legal repercussions of Farbrace terminating his contract,Ranatunga said. The coach has walked out inside a six-month probationary period, which may mean neither he, nor ECB, are liable to compensate SLC, even though another clause in the contract states Farbrace must give six months' notice before leaving the role.

Sri Lanka's short-term plans have been landed in some disarray by Farbrace's departure, as they prepare for a tour of Ireland and England that begins on May 7. Following that tour, Sri Lanka is set to host no.1 Test side South Africa at home in July, before Pakistan's expected arrival for another full tour in August. Their plans for the 2015 World Cup will also have been somewhat hampered.

An interim appointment is likley for the upcoming tour, with assistant coach Marvan Atapattu the frontrunner to assume the role. Including two other temporary appointments, Atapattu would become the seventh head coach Sri Lanka have had since 2011. Ranatunga said the board had not yet decided whether to open up a fresh application process for the job.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on April 24, 2014, 20:36 GMT

    Farbace was loaned to Sri Lanka before his contract with Kent expired. We are doing the same thing in return. No hard feelings!

  • Dummy4 on April 24, 2014, 8:10 GMT

    The ugly truth is locals won't be successful as much as an overseas coach because of politics. Politics always plays a key role in Sri Lankan Cricket, a local won't be able to cope it. Overseas coach(s) won't be affected by politics that much.

  • Ga on April 24, 2014, 6:33 GMT

    SL boys are good under any coach. That they have proved. Farbrace was not instrumental in the T20 win at all . He hardly had any time to settle even. So his leaving is nothing to be worried of. But the question is, when a previous coach's term was terminated before it ended SLC paid millions as damages. Why is it not reciprocal when a coach resigns before the end of the term? He should be charged and asked to pay millions for breach of contract.

  • udaya on April 24, 2014, 5:09 GMT

    God sake, Please appoint a 'Local coach' so that we do not have to go behind this foreign coaches ANYMORE.

    MR. ROY DIAS IS THE BEST MAN FOR THE JOB, OR can consider Mavan also as his deputy.

    High time SLC

  • Rock on April 23, 2014, 14:44 GMT

    If SLC rated Farbrace why is he not on a proper contract? If he is only on 6 months probation he could have been out of work in 3 months time.

  • Chanaka on April 23, 2014, 12:38 GMT

    Whilst success as a player has no direct correlation with becoming a successful coach, it is still not clear how a man with a very limited first class career and no track record as an elite coach could be appointed head coach over a formidable test opener with 5000 runs, and a highly skilled test bowler with 350 wickets. Given their inability to cope with the local chaos and language, why on earth would SL Cricket appoint another imported coach.

  • Dummy4 on April 23, 2014, 12:08 GMT

    Glad England have got him I feel bad for any Si Lankan's that feel slighted by this. Being close to home and having fair bit more income would be hard to resist.

  • Sanka on April 23, 2014, 11:20 GMT

    I don't think we should have let him resign. Should have done an American sports style move. Traded him for money and maybe an up and coming coach. Does anyone else think thats a good strategy?

  • Dummy4 on April 23, 2014, 11:04 GMT

    I think he has made a big mistake, he is going from a head coach position in a very good team to be an assistant coach in a team that is not doing too well at the moment. When England start loosing more test and ODI's he surely will get the sack. Who is going to hire him then?

  • A on April 23, 2014, 11:01 GMT

    Marvan is the Man for the Job! He is qualified, has been working with the team for a while, so he knows the current set of players well and the juniors coming through the ranks. He is a humble man who has proven to be a very good leader. The players respect him and he is definitely not scared of directly addressing any issues.

    A good strategist and tactician, he knows what it takes to execute a plan in the middle and most importantly understands the 'Srilankan' style of cricket.

    I believe with Vassy + Ruwan, it's a very well rounded coaching unit and all three played their cricket with Santh (+ the other selectors) it should be easy to work as a team and do what's best for Sri Lankan cricket.

    Not sure why the administrators think an English or Aussie coach can do any better than a professional Sri Lankan coach who is equally qualified and has played at the top level. Give these guys a go and may be one day others might come looking for a coach from the sub-continent.

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