Sri Lanka news April 23, 2014

SL in 'difficult place' after Farbrace exit


Sri Lanka have been rendered "helpless" by Paul Farbrace's sudden exit, weeks from their biggest overseas tour of the year, chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya has said. Sri Lanka depart for assignments in Ireland and England in two weeks, and Jayasuriya suggested Marvan Atapattu would be interim head coach for those series, with SLC left with too little time to name a permanent replacement.

Jayasuriya played a key role in signing Farbrace in December, and his selection committee had been set to work closely with Farbrace to bring through a young group of players, in preparation for major retirements on the horizon. Farbrace was offered a role with England last week and resigned from his position with Sri Lanka on Tuesday.

"Unfortunately we are in a pretty difficult place right now," Jayasuriya told the BBC's Sinhala service. "We had to face this problem just as the England tour was set to begin. We are thinking hard about what can be done. Marvan will have a lot of responsibility at this time and the bowling and fielding coaches will also have to bear a lot of responsibility.

"At the moment we won't be able to find a coach quickly, and SLC is in a bit of a helpless state. But these things happen in sport and they happen in life. We'll treat it as an experience, and hopefully the players will be able to turn this into something positive. I trust that they can do that."

There were rumours Farbrace had encountered issues with delays in pay during his 15-week tenure with Sri Lanka, and the past three months had also been characterised by upheaval around the team, thanks largely to a contracts dispute between the board and the players. Jayasuriya, however, said the board was clear of blame for his exit.

"I don't believe those things. Sometimes there are bank delays because of holidays and weekends," Jayasuriya said. "As far as I know there were no serious issues like that, and as far as I know, there were also no problems between Paul and the board. We had tried to make him feel at home here. Maybe not everything was 100%, but they were all things that could be discussed and resolved.

"We're always ready to point the finger at the board, but even when I was playing there were always little issues within the organisation. But these things are readily discussed and sorted out."

Jayasuriya had earlier expressed dismay at Farbrace considering the ECB role without giving SLC "adequate time to make adjustments", but said that after having met Farbrace in person, he understood the coach's decision.

"He had left for a holiday after the World T20. No one expected anything to happen, but it all happened very quickly, after he was approached about the job there. He hadn't undertaken long discussions with ECB, and he returned a few days later to lay out his position to us. We're disappointed, because we didn't expect this at this time. But Paul feels he's made a good decision and we can only wish him well. He did good service for the short time he was here."

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • sara on April 25, 2014, 5:09 GMT

    While what ECB did was highly unethical and shameful, I don't think the SL team is "helpless" in any way... If the SL cricketers could embark on a world cup journey with unsigned contracts, and return home with the cup in their hands, they sure have the mental strength to cope with any situation. With the experience of Sanga & Mahela, and with the support of Marvan, Vaas and Kalpage, SL team is far from being "helpless". They should take this as an added motivation to win the series, and teach the shameless ECB a good lesson...

  • Nilantha on April 24, 2014, 16:55 GMT

    As many have said, we do not suddenly become a bad team becuase a coach who was with us for three months quits..Dont forget that Farbrace would have learnt a fair bit from us too..We will continue and Sri Lanka will go from strength to strength...

  • Pad on April 24, 2014, 13:31 GMT

    Seriously guys!! Do you honestly believe that SL need him??? isnt it better that SL got to know his work ethics as early as this??? Do you really believe that he was a differentiator in winning T20 world cup??? Its much better to go to England with a Sri Lankan coach than going their with an Englishman whom you cant trust!!!

  • Ashok on April 24, 2014, 12:53 GMT

    I think a lot of Sri Lankan fans here have got it right: given its financial constraints, the only long term solution is to hire a Sri Lankan coach. Surely, a country which has produced so many great cricketers should not have a shortage of good coaches.

  • Rizwan on April 24, 2014, 11:57 GMT

    Marvan as head coach is a fine decision - But , we need a competent batting coach , one who has excelled in England , Australia and South Africa- May be GEOFFREY BOYCOTT , Barry Richards or RICKY PONTING would be ideal for a short term assignment.

  • Dummy4 on April 24, 2014, 10:26 GMT

    Why Asian countries always look for foreign coaches??

    We have legends of cricket in our countries and they can also be better coaches if given a chance.

    That would be the way we can respect our countries retired players.

    SL have Jayasuriya, Atapattu, De Silva, Vaas, Murali who can add great value to the team.

    Same for Indian team too, we have great players like Dravid, Ganguly, Kumble who can take team in right direction.

    Why don't they get a chance to prove??

    Only Cricketers should be involved in administration and coaching staff of every team not the businessman and politicians, this is in particular for Team India.

  • Vic on April 24, 2014, 9:27 GMT

    Get Ray Jennings in - he needs a job

  • Android on April 24, 2014, 9:27 GMT

    sl should be thankful. His coaching won ya a wc. He's off to better things. afraid they jsut need to accept it.

  • mano on April 24, 2014, 6:57 GMT

    Why not Wasim Akram or Ganguly for Sri Lanka?

  • SRIVATSAN on April 24, 2014, 6:51 GMT

    I don't think SL team should be worried, Attapatu was a committed cricketer who even carried drinks during the 2007 WC, when the team couldn't accommodate him. They should trust their talent more.

    With regards to the SL board, it is a different matter. They should treat their players better first and then expect consistency and honor from others.

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