Sri Lanka news August 4, 2014

Kalpage, Wijetunge hand in resignations

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

Comments