Former Test batsman Thilan Samaraweera will be Sri Lanka's batting coach leading up to the 2019 World Cup, SLC president Thilanga Sumathipala has confirmed.
The move is expected to be rubber-stamped on Monday, when Samaraweera arrives on the island from Melbourne, where he lives. The following day he will travel with the team to India, where they are set to play three Tests, three ODIs and three T20Is. Samaraweera will have his work cut out on the tour, in shoring up a batting unit low on confidence.
While the role of batting coach is officially a first for the 41-year-old former middle-order batsman, he has previously had stints as a batting consultant with other national outfits - with Bangladesh since September last year, and a brief stint with Australia prior to that. He replaces Hashan Tillakaratne, who had taken up the role on a temporary basis in July ahead of India's visit to Sri Lanka. Tillakaratne will now go back to his role as batting coach of Sri Lanka's developmental squads.
A veteran of 81 Tests, in which he scored 5462 runs at 48.76, Samaraweera retired from international cricket in 2013.