With less than three months to go for next year’s World Cup, the crisis within Sri Lanka national team has spilled over to the support staff as Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) executive committee discussed yesterday about sacking national team’s famous fast bowling coach Chaminda Vaas after the current home ODI series against England.
SLC Chief Executive Ashley de Silva had informed yesterday’s emergency ex-co meeting that national team’s head coach Marvan Atapattu has demanded the removal of Vaas from the coaching team, saying that the former star left-arm bowler was not putting enough effort to improve fast bowling and his contribution during the recently concluded ODI series against India was questionable.
Ex-co members had suggested bringing back Sri Lanka team’s former bowling coach Champaka Ramanayake who was replaced by Vaas in February 2013. Ramanayake who is now working in the SLC Academy as a fast-bowling coach is known to have a much greater rapport with the players than Vaas, whose allegedly strained relations with some star pace bowlers of the team received much publicity in media in recent times.
However some of the ex-co members had spoken against making Vaas an easy scapegoat for the Indian debacle, pointing out that some of the pace bowlers used during the India series actually came directly from the Sri Lanka A team where they came under the guidance of the Academy’s experienced coaches Ramanayaka and Anusha Samaranayake.
However, it is a certainty that Vaas would be removed from the national team coaching duties before Sri Lanka’s forthcoming tour of New Zealand which begins in late December, sources said.
SLC ex-co members have also decided to employ a specialist batting coach to the national team which already has Vaas, specialist spin bowling coach Piyal Wijetunga and fielding coach Trevor Penney under Atapattu while Englishman Jeremy Snape will also have a short stint with the team as the team psychologist.
Meanwhile, SLC ex-co decided to approve several demands by Atapattu to enhance the original package offered to him to be national coach.
Significant among the demands Atapattu won is a Rs. 2.6 million annual holiday package benefit for his family.
The terms offered by SLC to the national coach had included a meal allowance, SLC maintained car, 150 litres of petrol, standard tour per-diems, incentive bonuses, mobile phone and monthly allowance, laptop with dongle, family hospitalisationOPD insurance, in addition to the monthly salary of Rs. 1.3 million.
However in addition to all the offered terms, Atapattu had asked for a further travelling benefit of Rs. 50,000, an SLC maintained brand-new car commensurate with his status, Rs. 2.6 million holiday package benefit for the contractual period and a ten percent increment upon completion of one year in the job.
SLC had included a clause to review Atapattu’s performance after a period of one year, though he had been offered a two-year contract. However Atapattu had also demanded to remove that clause. (Channaka de Silva)