Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Interim Sri Lanka head coach Marvan Atapattu has been appointed to the position permanently after a six-week process.
Sri Lanka Cricket’s (SLC) coach-selection committee interviewed Atapattu and one other candidate before recommending the former Sri Lankan batsman as their preferred choice to the executive committee.
According to a SLC press release, the executive committee “unanimously approved and appointed Mr. Marvan Attapattu to the position of National Head Coach of Sri Lanka Cricket with immediate effect”.
Atapattu, who will now be Sri Lanka’s first local head coach in 15 years, was seen as one of the frontrunners right from the start of the application process since Sri Lanka won their first Test series in England in June during his tenure as interim head coach. The national team also went on to beat England 3-2 in the ODI series and 1-0 in the one-off Twenty20 International as well.
However, Sri Lanka did not enjoy a lot of success in their home series against South Africa as they suffered a 2-1 defeat in the three-match ODI series and a 1-0 defeat in the two-Test series.
But, Sri Lanka redeemed themselves during their recent home series against Pakistan as they won the Test series 2-0 and the ODI series 2-1.
There were many other strong candidates who applied for the position, including Mickey Arthur, who is the former head coach of Australia and South Africa, ex-Proteas coach Ray Jennings, former South Africa all-rounder Lance Klusener, ex-Surrey coach Chris Adams, former New Zealand coach Andy Moles, former Victoria coach Simon Helmot and Somerset’s director of cricket, Dave Nosworthy.
Atapattu’s first assignment as head coach will be the upcoming seven-match ODI series against England, which gets underway on November 26.
Sri Lanka will then travel to New Zealand to play two Tests and seven ODIs.