Former Sri Lankan bowler Lasith Malinga has been choosen to lead as the new bowling coach of the Srilanka national team especially for the upcoming tour in Australia.
Malinga will be part of Sri Lanka’s setup for a short period of time and his role will be to provide “technical expertise” and “tactical insight” to the bowlers to help them execute strategic plans. The former ODI and T20I captain was appointed to the role by the Executive Committee of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) in consultation with the Board’s Technical Advisory Committee. Malinga is expected to travel with the team for a limited time, i.e. from February 1 to February 20.
Meanwhile, former Sri Lankan cricketer Rumesh Ratnayake has been appointed as the interim coach of the national team for the upcoming series against Australia. During the Zimbabwe tour also Ratnayake acted as an interim coach of the Sri Lanka team. Ratnayake, who recently tested positive for COVID-19, will not travel with the team but is expected to join the team ahead of the first T20I match against Australia.
Ratnayake has been traveling with the Sri Lanka team as a coach since Mickey Arthur’s two-year contract expired last month. Based on reports, Paul Farbrace the former English cricketer will be appointed as the coach (full-time) of the Sri Lanka team which will be before the Indian tour that is been scheduled in March this year. The five-match T20I series between Sri Lanka and Australia is scheduled to begin on February 11. The first match is scheduled to be held at the prestigious Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). Sri Lanka Cricket has already announced a 20-man squad, which will be led by Dasun Shanaka.
Sri Lanka Squad:
Dasun Shanaka (Captain), Avishka Fernando, Charith Aslanka (VC), Pathum Nisanka, Kusal Mendis, Danushka Gunathilaka, Dinesh Chandimal, Zenith Lianage, Kamil Mishara, Chamika Karunaratne, Ramesh Mendis, Lahiru Kumara, Vanindu Hasaranga, , Binura Fernando, Dusmantha Chamira, Mahesh Thekshana, Praveen Jayavikrama, Jeffrey Vandersay, Shiran Fernando
Malinga has previous experience in this kind of role. In 2018, he was the bowling mentor of Mumbai Indians before making a comeback in 2019 as a player. The player In Sri Lanka, he is respected for his exceptional approach strategic thinking and incredible bowling technique – which is supposed to have helped him becoming one of the island’s greatest limited-overs players.
For now, the appointment is described as a short-term role, but if it goes well, there is a possibility that Malinga may return for other assignments. Since being suspended for breaching Covid-19 protocols the Opener Danushka Gunathilaka has been recalled for the first time on last year’s trip of England, and Kusal Mendis, who was suspended along with Gunathilaka, was also picked . However, there was no other place for another player, Niroshan Dickwella. The player’s was suspended but was recently lifted earlier this month.
The series will be played from February 11 to 20 in Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne.