Chris Silverwood, the former England fast bowler, has been signed by SLC on a two-year deal as head coach of the Sri Lanka men's national team. His first series in charge will be the team's upcoming two-Test tour of Bangladesh in May.
Silverwood was until February the head coach of the England men's team, but parted ways with the ECB in the wake of the side's 4-0 Ashes series defeat in Australia. His term with England lasted a little over two years after he took over from Trevor Bayliss in October 2019.
Sri Lanka have been without a full-time head coach since Mickey Arthur's departure in December after his contract had run out. While he had repeatedly expressed a desire to continue, SLC were understood to have been unresponsive. Since then, former fast bowler Rumesh Ratnayake had been in charge of the men's team.
The appointment of Silverwood also comes after several other international coaches had been approached by SLC and its technical committee, and those coaches had eventually turned down the advances. Graham Ford, who coached Sri Lanka in two separate stints over the past decade, is understood to have been among those approached.
"We are delighted to appoint Chris as the new head coach of the national team. He is an extremely experienced coach and from our discussions with him in the recruitment process it is clear he has the required qualities we are looking for to take the team forward,'' said Ashley De Silva, CEO of Sri Lanka Cricket, in the board's statement. De Silva did not specify what those qualities were, and was not available for comment.
Silverwood now becomes the Sri Lanka men's team's eighth permanent head coach appointment in the last 10 years (Ford had two separate stints in this time), in addition to the interim coaches who took the role on. He inherits a side that is seventh on the Test rankings, eighth in ODIs, and 10th in T20 internationals - Sri Lanka having to qualify for the main draw of the T20 World Cup later this year.
On the Test front, Sri Lanka have home series against Australia and Pakistan, and an away series against New Zealand late in the year, in addition to the Bangladesh tour.