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Atapattu to coach Sri Lanka

Former Sri Lanka batsman Marvan Atapattu will coach his national side on the tour of England and Ireland, it was announced today.

The 43-year-old will step into the shoes of Paul Farbrace, who vacated the position on Wednesday to become Assistant Coach to new England Head Coach Peter Moores.


The Sri Lanka Cricket Board confirmed Atapattu's appointment in a short statement, adding that he will be assisted by Ruwan Kalpage, the former spinner and current fielding coach, for both the England and Ireland series and the subsequent one against South Africa.

It gives Atapattu a chance to make a real claim for the job on a permanent basis, having been overlooked after an interview when Farbrace was given the position in December.

Marvan Atapattu, pictured right, has been part of Sri Lanka's coaching set-up for some time and was their batting coach during their 2011 tour of England

Atapattu played 90 Tests from 1990 to 2007 and averaged 39 with the bat, making 16 hundreds along the way. He also won 268 one-day international caps, scoring over 14,000 runs combined.

Chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya said: "We should look to give responsibility to Marvan, because he's been around for a few years. The bowling and fielding coaches will also have to take a lot of responsibility.”

Sri Lanka head to Europe at the start of May for two ODIs with Ireland ahead of several tour games versus county teams.

They will face first Farbrace in a Twenty20 international on May 20 before five ODIs and two Tests.

"Farbrace knows inside out about Sri Lanka's cricketers, and that's the biggest challenge for us," Jayasuriya added.

"He knows our batsmen and bowlers from top to bottom, and what we have been discussing in the last four or five months.

“I hope Marvan, Ruwan, the bowling coach can do a lot of work with the senior cricketers and come out of this situation."

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