Sri Lanka’s chief selector, Sanath Jayasuriya, has joined the SLC in expressing dismay at news of head coach Paul Farbrace‘s possible move to England, citing the cost the board bore to have Farbrace released from his Yorkshire contract. Jayasuriya was a member of the panel that vetted applicants and recommended Farbrace for the head coach job.
Jayasuriya has also been the key figure in regenerating the Sri Lanka team in light of imminent high-profile retirements – a task Farbrace was specifically chosen to assist with.
“We negotiated with Yorkshire and even paid his severance fees before getting Farbrace, who was the second eleven coach there, to become the head coach in Sri Lanka,” Jayasuriya told Sunday Times. “Now that he has made his credentials he has decided to move on without giving us adequate time to make the necessary adjustments. It’s not done by Sri Lanka cricket.”
SLC treasurer Nuski Mohamed said that while the board did not pay an official severance fee to Yorkshire, it had covered the local costs of the Yorkshire team’s recent pre-season tour of Sri Lanka. That tour had formed the bulk of SLC’s official compensation to Yorkshire, in return for securing Farbrace’s release.
The board is also unsure if Farbrace can walk out of his SLC contract without any repercussions. There is a clause in the coach’s contract which states Farbrace must give six months’ notice to the board if he wishes to leave his job, but he is also still within a six-month probationary period, during which that clause may not apply.
“He’s on probation with us, but I’m not sure if we’re on probation with him,” SLC secretary Nishantha Ranatunga said. “As an organisation, the probation is something that we have a hold of. But to be fair by Paul, I’m not sure whether it’s applicable in the reverse as well. We need to talk to our legal guys about that.”
In any case, Farbrace will meet the board when he arrives in Colombo in Monday. Ranatunga said the board is largely unaware of what transpired in England over the past week, beyond what has played out in public, but said that the SLC was keen to retain Farbrace as long as his passion for the role remained.
“We would like him to be here with true commitment, but if the commitment is not there, then it’s not going to work out,” he said.