Cricket

Atapattu named Sri Lanka coach

2014-09-24 22:26
Marvan Atapattu (Gallo Images)
Colombo - Sri Lanka Cricket on Wednesday appointed former Test captain Marvan Atapattu as head coach to prepare for the 2015 Cricket World Cup hosted by Australia and New Zealand.

Atapattu, 43, becomes the island nation's seventh coach in the last four years and is the first Sri Lankan in 15 years to hold the position of full time national coach.

"Marvan (Atapattu) was appointed for a period of two years," Sri Lanka Cricket vice-president Mohan de Silva confirmed.

Officials declined to give further details of his contract

A selection committee interviewed Atapattu and one other candidate on Tuesday before recommending him for the job.

The SLC executive committee then "unanimously approved and appointed Mr. Marvan Atapattu to the position of national head coach... with immediate effect", an SLC statement added.

Originally, the governing body had short-listed 12 candidates for the job and Atapattu was the only local among them, SLC sources said.

Atapattu had served as the interim coach for three months before his full-time appointment on Wednesday, guiding the team during the recent series against England, South Africa and Pakistan.

The former batsman replaces Englishman Paul Farbrace who quit in April after just four months on the job to take over as England's deputy coach under Peter Moores.

Sri Lanka are set to play seven ODIs against England from November 26 as part of their build-up to the 2015 World Cup.

They are also due to tour New Zealand in December and January.

A prolific right-hander, Atapattu scored 5 502 runs from 90 Tests, including six double-hundreds, after making his debut against India in 1990. He retired in 2007.

His 8 529 one-day runs included 11 hundreds.

Atapattu will be the latest addition in a succession of coaches for Sri Lanka since 2010, following Trevor Bayliss, Stuart Law, Rumesh Ratnayake, Geoff Marsh, Graham Ford and Farbrace.

The previous Sri Lankan to hold the post was former Test batsman Roy Dias in 1999.

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