Rare is the occasion that an assistant coach accompanies a captain to a post-match press conference, but the occasion called for it. Paul Farbrace, who worked with Sri Lanka for two years, had just completed his last assignment.
At the presentation ceremony, Farbrace had been given a parting gift and a special mention. He received a loud cheer from spectators and players and got a firm handshake from Kumar Sangakkara and Percy Abeysekara, the die-hard Sri Lankan fan. Standing around as Sangakkara later thanked him for all his efforts, Farbrace was hugged by Tillakaratne Dilshan.
Farbrace, who assisted Trevor Bayliss, played an important role in making Sri Lanka a winning unit in world cricket, as Sangakkara reminded journalists later. “Paul has been very good with the little details, the tips he’s given the fast bowlers on improving their techniques has been important. He’s also helped batsmen score runs and there’s been a real sense of belonging with Paul. He’s been a good guy to have around and it’s sad that he’s leaving us at a critical time but we fully support him in whatever he does. We will really miss him.”
“I think this team has plenty of potential in all formats of the game,” said Farbrace while sitting next to Sangakkara in front of the media. “They’ve accomplished a lot and I’m very proud to have been associated with the Sri Lankan team.
Farbrace will be returning to England to take up the position of head coach of Kent, the county he left two years ago to undertake the Sri Lanka job.