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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Lanka appoints desi Marvan Atapattu as Coach....will India follow !!

A Coach needs to know the nuances of the game too well – should evaluate the players, encourage their strengths, ensure bonding and empower their performing as a team…….. need not be a great performer of hey days …and need not be a foreigner perforce.   The island Nation has now has its first full-time local coach in 15 years  - the man a  vulnerable starter, struggled to make ground in his debut but showed immense strength of character accumulating runs and scored six double-hundreds in his career, a feat bettered only by Don Bradman (12), Wally Hammond and Brian Lara (seven each).

Before that Kolkata Knight Riders chased and won against Perth Scorchers keeping the winning habit in tact.  When India relies on pace bowling options and plays part-time spinners in T20 (and in ODIs too) – KKR plays with Sunil Narine, Kuldeep Yadav and Piyush Chawla…. ..interesting  !! yesterday too, led by Sunil Narine, their spinners were un-hittable. Perth Scorchers realised that after much huffing and puffing that amounted to only 151 for 7.  KKR batsmen faltered and eventually a good innings from Suryakumar Yadav and his twin sixes in the 19th over saw them through. Earlier he had hit 2 sixes in 15th over too. Kuldeep Yadav, the 19-year old left-arm chinaman and googly bowler in tandem with mystery  carom balls of Narine made Scorchers fumble.

For Sri Lanka it is Marvan Atapattu- appointed as first full-time local coach in 15 years.  The executive committee "unanimously approved and appointed Mr. Marvan Attapattu to the position of National Head Coach of Sri Lanka Cricket with immediate effect," an SLC release said. Atapattu was always a strong contender for the position, thanks largely to his intimate knowledge of the Sri Lanka set-up and its players, as well as his success as interim head coach. Sri Lanka's last local head coach, aside from brief interim appointments, had been Roy Dias, in 1999.
Atapattu played 90 Tests scoring 5502 runs with 16 tons; in ODIs – in 268 he made 8529 runs and he played two T20s too. He had a forgettable debut in Nov 1990 at Chandigarh out for duck in both innings at Chandigarh – India made only 288 and yet enforced follow-on ……..  won by an innings and 8 runs -  Venkatapathi Raju had dream figures of 17.5-13-12-6 in the first and 36-25-25-2 in the 2nd. His next chance came in Aug 1992 at Colombo against  Australia; he made 0 & 1 – in Feb 1994 at Ahmedabad, he bagged a pair again.  After that he next played  in 1997 at Dunedin, where he made 25 & 22 and back home in Apr 97 at Colombo, he made another duck and 25.

Ken Rutherford, the New Zealander had a similar streak – he made 0 & 0 in his debut in Mar 1985 against mighty West Indies; followed up with 4; ,0,2; 1,5; 65; 0; 0,50*;0;24…..ended up making 2465 runs in 56 tests.

Atapattu had earlier been named interim coach following the resignation of Englishman Paul Farbrace in April.  Paul Farbrace from Kent enjoyed considerable success as head coach of Sri Lankan Cricket Team, winning the ICC World Twenty20 2014 and Asia Cup 2014; but deserted ranks to join at Assistant coach for England. Remember the stocky Whatmore who toured India under Kim Hughes later became the successful coach of Lanka.  He  played just seven Test matches and one One Day International. Whatmore was born in Ceylon; his family migrated to Australia in 1962.; retired from Tests, coached Lanka, Bangladesh and later Pakistan too.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

25th Sept. 2014.

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