Angelo Mathews, the Sri Lanka captain, has said Paul Farbrace’s decision to defect and join England was understandable and denied that their former coach would be able to provide inside information during the forthcoming series between the sides.
Farbrace’s departure last month to become Peter Moores’ No2 with England caused controversy, with Sri Lanka initially reluctant to release the former Kent and Middlesex wicketkeeper from the remaining 18 months of his contract.
The coach eventually left and now finds himself in the position of preparing England to face Sri Lanka for their first series under new management, with one-day, Twenty20 and Test matches beginning with a T20 at The Oval on 20 May.
Mathews and the new head coach, Marvan Atapattu, will begin preparations with a one-dayer against Essex at Chelmsford on Tuesday. The captain admitted that some were disappointed at the departure of Farbrace, who they said excelled at man-management and was able to instil confidence within the team. However, both are confident that Sri Lanka can prevail against England in all formats if they can adapt to the local conditions.
“Everyone has his own choices and we can’t really say no or yes to someone’s decision; we respect it,” said Mathews of Farbrace. “He has made his choice and we wish him all the very best