Coach’s job up for bids
The hotly debated national cricket coach’s position in Sri Lanka will come under the hammer once again within the next couple of weeks, according to Sri Lanka Cricket vice president Mohan de Silva.
On Friday, the Lankan cricket team left for Ireland and England with their Interim Coach Marvan Atapattu, who will also overlook the Lankan team’s destiny in their home series against South Africa in July.
After the sudden exit of Paul Farbrace a fortnight ago, the Lankan cricket hierarchy absorbed their batting coach Marvan Atapattu as the Interim Coach and fielding coach Ruwan Kalpage as the Assistant coach on a temporary basis. It is understood initially the interim job was offered only for the England, tour, but, when Marvan requested a home series, the South African series was added to his job entails.
Vice President de Silva explained, “We are seriously looking at the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand and we are interested in getting an Australian coach to take us there. What we are looking in this person is his insight to the playing intricacies under the Australian conditions.”
He said there are some individuals who have shown interest in the Lankan job. “Former Australian coach Tim Neilson, Davnell Whatmore who is no stranger to Sri Lanka and Mathew Mott (all Australians) have shown interest, but it is up to them to come up with their credentials once the position is opened. Meanwhile the performance of Atapattu in England will also be under close scrutiny.
“Obviously Atapattu could apply for the job and his present performances would add weight to his credentials,” de Silva said.
As Atapattu’s appointment came in a hurry and it did not take the usual approval channel and this caused a huge furore within the SLC executive committee who charged that they were kept in the dark about the appointment, but, later sanity prevailed once the temporary appointment was put in for a vote and passed at ex-co level.
Meanwhile, it is learned that a section of the Lankan hierarchy is keen on pursuing with Neilson who has a deep knowledge on the Australian cricket machinery. Nielsen is a former South Australia state cricketer and formerly the head coach of the Australian cricket team. He played 101 first-class matches for his state between 1990–91 and 1998–99.
Nielsen succeeded John Buchanan as the coach of Australia in 2007 after serving as his assistant.