Venkatesh Prasad in running to become Sri Lanka’s new head coach

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“There are some great challenges in Sri Lanka and I have the self-belief that, as a coach, I can contribute to the current set up”

Former India pace bowler Venkatesh Prasad has announced that he is interested in becoming Sri Lanka’s new head coach when Graham Ford’s contract expires in January 2014.

Prasad, who has been India’s bowling coach and guided their Under-19 side as well, is currently in charge of the the Uttar Pradesh team.

“Sri Lanka are an amazing team with some great cricketers who I’ve watched very closely for a long time,” Prasad said. “They’ve won a World Cup during my time, and since then they’ve played a very attractive brand of cricket.

“As a player, and then as a coach, and through IPL, I’ve had a lot to do with Sri Lankan players – both former and current ones, and they are so grounded and genuine. There’s a mix of seniors and young players coming through, and they are an exciting prospect to coach.”

Prasad is also raring to have the opportunity to help develop Sri Lanka’s pace attack alongside the legendary Chaminda Vaas.

“Sri Lanka has produced some great fast bowlers, as we saw with Chaminda Vaas, who is a good friend,” he said. “There is clearly talent in the country, but it’s a case of harnessing that talent and developing it. Fast bowling is a challenge in the subcontinent, so building a fast-bowling unit and bench strength is important.”

Prasad is still yet to hear back from Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), but he revealed how he was planning to take the national team forward.

“It’s not something I’ve done because there is an opening,” he said. “There are some great challenges in Sri Lanka and I have the self-belief that, as a coach, I can contribute to the current set up. It’s not just about results, but about improving fitness, technique, tactics and contributing to the direction of the team.”

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