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Atapattu may be appointed as Sri Lankan coach for England tour

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka's chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya issued the strongest indication yet that Marvan Atapattu would be appointed coach for the tour of Ireland and England, following Paul Farbrace's resignation on Tuesday, ARY News has learnt.

Jayasuriya, head of coaching Jerome Jayaratne, and cricket committee chairman Ranjit Fernando have been appointed in a three-member committee to formulate SLC's next move.

The panel is expected to recommend a coach – in at least an interim capacity – to the board on Monday.

Atapattu had applied for the head coach position when Graham Ford announced he would vacate the job, and had progressed to the final round of interviews in November, before Farbrace was appointed. Atapattu has been Sri Lanka's batting coach since for three years, and was promoted to assistant coach in March 2013.

"We should look to give responsibility to Marvan because he's been around for a few years," Jayasuriya said. "But we haven't taken any decisions yet. The first step is to have a discussion with Marvan and clear up how to approach this issue, particularly in light of the fast-approaching England tour.

"We had had a plan for the tour, part of which was to send a group of about six players to England early, which we were hoping Paul would facilitate. Now that he's gone, we've got to find another way to do that.

Atapattu has earned a reputation for his technical acumen – as a coach, as he had been as a player – but he was deemed unready for head coach role late last year. Both Farbrace and Ford have publicly lauded his work ethic.

"We need to ask Marvan what he feels, and how he's going to do things before we make any decisions," Jayasuriya said.

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