Chris Silverwood appointed as Sri Lanka head coach

Chris Silverwood

Chris Silverwood has been named as Sri Lanka’s new head coach, two months after leaving England in the wake of their 4-0 Ashes defeat.

Silverwood, 47, has signed a two-year contract with Sri Lanka Cricket, quickly landing another job after he followed director of cricket Ashley Giles in leaving the England set-up in February as they paid the price for a miserable tour of Australia.

“I am very excited to be on board with Sri Lanka and I cannot wait to get over to Colombo and get started,” said Silverwood, who will have a little over a month to prepare for two upcoming Tests in Bangladesh.

“They have a talented and passionate group of players and I am really looking forward to meeting up with the players and coaching staff very soon.”

Silverwood had taken the England job in October 2019, stepping up from his role of bowling coach under Trevor Bayliss – himself a former Sri Lanka coach.

The Yorkshireman, who played six Tests and seven ODIs for England, had previously guided Essex first to promotion to Division One of the County Championship and then to the title.

But he could not replicate that success with England and his exit came after a year in which his side lost nine of their 15 Tests, including series defeats away to India and at home to New Zealand.

The Covid-19 pandemic brought unexpected challenges but his reign became associated with batting collapses and a consistent failure to deliver big first-innings runs.

England Nets and Press Conference – Tuesday December 7th – The Gabba
Silverwood talks to England captain Joe Root, left, during a nets session in Brisbane (Jason O’Brien/PA)

Despite those disappointments, Silverwood was able to convince Sri Lanka he was the right man to replace Mickey Arthur, who left the Lions in November to become Derbyshire’s head of cricket.

Sri Lanka Cricket chief executive Ashley De Silva said: “We are delighted to appoint Chris as the new head coach of the national team.

“He is an extremely experienced coach and from our discussions with him in the recruitment process it is clear he has the required qualities we are looking for to take the team forward.”