Sri Lanka news April 24, 2014

Atapattu tipped to coach SL in England

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Sri Lanka's chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya issued the strongest indication yet that Marvan Atapattu would be appointed coach for the tour of Ireland and England, following Paul Farbrace's resignation on Tuesday.

Jayasuriya, head of coaching Jerome Jayaratne, and cricket committee chairman Ranjit Fernando have been appointed in a three-member committee to formulate SLC's next move.

The panel is expected to recommend a coach - in at least an interim capacity - to the board on Monday.

Atapattu had applied for the head coach position when Graham Ford announced he would vacate the job, and had progressed to the final round of interviews in November, before Farbrace was appointed. Atapattu has been Sri Lanka's batting coach since for three years, and was promoted to assistant coach in March 2013.

"We should look to give responsibility to Marvan because he's been around for a few years," Jayasuriya said. "But we haven't taken any decisions yet. The first step is to have a discussion with Marvan and clear up how to approach this issue, particularly in light of the fast-approaching England tour.

"We had had a plan for the tour, part of which was to send a group of about six players to England early, which we were hoping Paul would facilitate. Now that he's gone, we've got to find another way to do that.

Atapattu has earned a reputation for his technical acumen - as a coach, as he had been as a player - but he was deemed unready for head coach role late last year. Both Farbrace and Ford have publicly lauded his work ethic.

"We need to ask Marvan what he feels, and how he's going to do things before we make any decisions," Jayasuriya said.

SLC also confirmed it would not receive compensation from Farbrace nor the ECB, for Farbrace's early departure. His contract had stipulated he give six months' notice before leaving the role, but as he had quit within his six-month probationary period, that former clause was made void.

SLC will in effect have also lost a figure believed to be around Rs. 8 million (USD $60,000) on hosting the Yorkshire county side for a pre-season tour. The costs of tour had been the bulk of the compensation SLC paid for having Farbrace released early from his Yorkshire contract.

"We had the probation clause to benefit both parties," SLC assistant secretary Hirantha Perera said. "From our side if he hadn't gelled well with the team, we would have had the chance to terminate his contract. What we had been after is a settled coach for the 2015 World Cup"

SLC were recently compelled to cough up an undisclosed sum for terminating Geoff Marsh's contract, three months into his tenure in 2011. Marsh's contract had not carried a probationary period.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Manike on April 25, 2014, 10:19 GMT

    All the best for Attapattu to do his job well.

  • dummy4fb on April 25, 2014, 9:11 GMT

    I feel the best man for the job will be Hathurusinghe... with Marven to assist him.

  • THEBEAST7 on April 25, 2014, 6:39 GMT

    Not a good decision. I dont think Marvan will be able to take decisions with a backbone. He will have to bow down to personal favours and he will be biased for certain decisions.

  • dummy4fb on April 25, 2014, 4:03 GMT

    what better thing to do than the appointment of Marvan as new Sri Lanka coach. He has got the best opportunity, tour of England where the guy who kicked out coaching Lanka is Assistant coach. Lankans should show both players and coach that they as a team are better than Poms.

  • ajithabey on April 25, 2014, 4:03 GMT

    I strongly believe that Marvan,Vaas & Kalpage work as specialist coaches focusing on their units instead giving the full responsibility to one person at this juncture, as a short term fix will not work. Probably Aravinda, Duleep,Roy Dias, or even Michael De Zoyza can be invited as the Cricket Coordinator to ensure that all of the coaches work together as a cohesive unit with support from Mahela, Sanga,Dilshan as well.

  • nothingnew on April 25, 2014, 1:56 GMT

    I don't believe Marvan is best option . Since mahela and Sanga played with marvan . Might be they don't like Marvan as their head coach . May be roy dias would be the best option .

  • gahapanmachan on April 25, 2014, 1:42 GMT

    SL's two world cups came under the guidance of 'unknowns' to that point. As a cricketer Marvan's reputation is far greater and he was one of the top technically correct batsman of his generation. Its high time to give him a go as he has gained valuable experience as a deputy and also to test how modern SL cricketers does in big coaching. Besides in Vassy he has the best bowling coach at his disposal.

    Only thing Marvan should not do is to tarnish the naturals talents of the school ground nursery but just rectify errors in stroke making. SL waited 18yers for their 2nd cup and a couple of honeymoon years are there to play with.

  • SLfan on April 25, 2014, 1:31 GMT

    I am a big fan of Marvan and still love the way he has played his beautiful cover drive all throughout his career...But I'm not sure whether he is suitable for this new role as he has not proven yet. But I believe that the combination of Marvan, Vaas and Kalpage will do a good job and hope they will not become political dummys of anyone. Wish you good luck Marvan !!!

  • dummy4fb on April 25, 2014, 0:44 GMT

    Marvan as head coach? .... Um......... It's come to that for SL? Look around SL.

  • kohli_ponnaya on April 25, 2014, 0:26 GMT

    SLC seems terrible at designing contracts for coaches. Its a stupid comment about Farbrace may not gelling with the team. He was Asst Coach after all and the SLC management would have known whether he was "gellable" or not.

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