Sri Lanka news

Kalpage, Wijetunge hand in resignations

Andrew Fidel Fernando

August 4, 2014

Comments: 16 | Text size: A | A

Ruwan Kalpage works with Ajantha Mendis during training, Galle, July 15, 2014
Ruwan Kalpage is understood to have received an offer to become Bangladesh fielding coach © Associated Press
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Sri Lanka acting assistant coach Ruwan Kalpage has handed in his letter of resignation to SLC, the board confirmed, after Kalpage is understood to have received an offer to become Bangladesh fielding coach under Chandika Hathurusingha. Sri Lanka's national spin bowling coach Piyal Wijetunge is also set to join the Bangladesh staff in a similar capacity, and has handed in his resignation letter to SLC as well.

There is still a possibility either one or both of them could be persuaded to remain within the Sri Lanka set-up, but that decision will be made by the SLC executive committee on Tuesday, CEO Ashley de Silva said. "The ExCo will acknowledge that the letters have been received, and they might decide whether to give some sort of offer to these coaches, if they want them to stay," he said.

Both Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have experienced change within their coaching structures over the past few months, with Sri Lanka seemingly losing its top coaches, while Bangladesh puts together a new coaching unit under Hathurusingha.

Kalpage had been fielding coach under Graham Ford, Paul Farbrace and now under acting head coach Marvan Atapattu, but now finds the board has advertised his position, which suggests the board has been unsatisfied with his work in the team. The fielding coach job is one of the three vacancies in the Sri Lanka set-up at present. Atapattu's job is also in limbo, as is Darshan Weerasinghe's position as the team trainer.

SLC has largely been encouraging of Wijetunge's work, but like Sri Lanka A trainer Mario Villavarayan, Wijetunge has been offered a substantially higher salary by the BCB. In March, head coach Farbrace had also been lured away from Sri Lanka by a better salary in England, though the opportunity to work with the national team of his birth-nation had also been among the motives for Farbrace's departure.

Kalpage is expected to remain with the Sri Lanka team until the end of Pakistan's tour of Sri Lanka, which begins on Wednesday. SLC had hoped Wijetunge would work closely with Sachithra Senanayake in order to remedy his action as he had done once before in 2011. But given the uncertainty around Wijetunge's position, head of coaching Jerome Jayaratne has instead been assigned to assist Senanayake, as the spinner undergoes a remedial course in Australia this month.


Sri Lanka have a two-and-a-half month break from international cricket, following the end of the Pakistan ODI series on August 30, in which the board may firm up its new coaching set-up. If Atapattu is not chosen as head coach, Sri Lanka will have its eighth head coach - either temporary or permanent - in four years.

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

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by yohandf on (August 6, 2014, 6:33 GMT)

i really doubt whether Kalpage has done anything special as fielding coach . He was a good fielder during his playing days but SL fielding standard did not go up at all . Piyal Wijetunga too was not impressed as bowling coach . lets see how they go about Bangla job . Good luck guys .

Posted by tiger1984 on (August 5, 2014, 11:02 GMT)

a bad decision by BCB ..........slc cricket has struggled under kalpage......should have gone for jonty

Posted by Kadmin on (August 5, 2014, 9:17 GMT)

Sadly but I don't think Kalpage is the right choice if we need to improve our spin and fielding from current standards. SL is already in a level where it has grown and clinging around but no room to grow with his expertise. Bangla could definitely use his expertise to grow their talent from their current position though.

Posted by siddhartha87 on (August 5, 2014, 7:44 GMT)

Sri Lanka board should sign Murali.period

Posted by Lakpj on (August 5, 2014, 5:31 GMT)

I don't think SL will mind the loss of Kalpage. Fielding has not been very good in the recent time and he is certainty not good enough to be the assistant coach.

Posted by   on (August 5, 2014, 4:17 GMT)

I am sorry to say that spin coach or bowling coach has not had the desired effects. You need a bowling coach only if there are flaws to be corrected. What were they doing when Senanayake was having a flaw in his action? sadly it had to finally enter world stage and the poor boy is now slated to go for corrective training and there will be a stigma for a while on him. That shows the bowling coaches need to work more on the mindset of each player just as the batting coach. How many times did these coaches develop the SWOT of the batters in the opposition, and work out the strategic plans to home in on their weaknesses? A coach who just goes about doing the usual training in the nets but not at the class room with a power point presentation taking on questions and giving his views is not the type for today's cricket. The need of the hour is getting them to develop one-pointed concentration, and that i think is not happening.

Posted by Dharaka on (August 5, 2014, 2:54 GMT)

Sri Lanka is doing a Southampton. And Bangladesh is doing a Liverpool. First they lost potential coach Chandika Hathurusinghe, then they lost fitness coach Mario Villavaryan, and now assistant coach Ruwan Kalpage and spin bowling coach Piyal Wijetunge. Mass exodus, Southampton style.

Posted by Lion_Wallaby on (August 5, 2014, 2:17 GMT)

I honestly don't think that Kalpage is fit enough to be the Assistant Coach for SL. Since Marvan and VAss are already there with Sanath and Hashan I think its better to have someone from Aus or Eng for the Assistant Coach.

Posted by asiacricket1234 on (August 5, 2014, 0:11 GMT)

bad for SL but definitely good for us. SL is a top team and their coaching stuff must be top quality too, Having them in our set up should help us to improve faster.

Posted by CricketChat on (August 5, 2014, 0:01 GMT)

If SL board is bent on foreign coaches only, then so be it. The resigning coaches should take up the BCB offer. Along with Chandika Hathurusingha, they could form a good coaching staff of Bangladesh who desperately need some backroom support staff.

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