SL lose Kalpage to Bangladesh, spin coach stays
Ruwan Kalpage is set to quit his role as Sri Lanka's acting assistant coach to take up a job as Bangladesh fielding coach, but Sri Lanka spin coach Piyal Wijetunge has been convinced to stay, SLC CEO Ashley de Silva confirmed.
Both Kalpage and Wijetunge had sent letters of resignation to the Sri Lankan board earlier this week, but while Kalpage's has been accepted, the executive committee has given Wijetunge a counter-offer.
"The ExCo and Wijetunge had a discussion, and he took a decision to withdraw his resignation," de Silva said. "The negotiations had something to do with a better offer too."
BCB director Jalal Yunus said Bangladesh will now have to look at other candidates for the role of spin coach. "He (Wijetunge) had signed an agreement with us but we are now aware that he has been convinced to stay back in Sri Lanka," Yunus said. "So it is certain that he won't be coming to Bangladesh."
Kalpage's position with Sri Lanka had already been on thin ice, after the board chose to advertise the fielding coach job as part of a coaching shake-up. Acting head coach Marvan Atapattu and trainer Darshan Weerasingha are also effectively in limbo, with their positions also listed as vacancies. Kalpage has been involved with the national team in some coaching capacity for over ten years.
"He has told us that he has got an assignment," de Silva said. "He hasn't given us an indication where he's going, but we have acknowledged his resignation."
Although de Silva said Kalpage would not finish with Sri Lanka until after the Pakistan tour, Yunus has said that Kalpage would be arriving in Bangladesh "in the next day or two". Kalpage would be the fourth new member of Bangladesh's support staff after head coach Chandika Hathurusingha, bowling coach Heath Streak and trainer Mario Villavarayan joined recently. They have replaced Shane Jurgensen, Corey Richards and David Dwyer who resigned before the India series in June.
Meanwhile, 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.