Atapattu confident of retaining head coach job

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Sri Lanka's interim head coach, Marvan Atapattu, believes he should be at the top of the list when choosing a permanent mentor, given his track record since taking over the team earlier this year.

Sri Lanka's interim head coach, Marvan Atapattu, believes he should be at the top of the list when choosing a permanent mentor, given his track record since taking over the team earlier this year.

Atapattu was the assistant coach when Paul Farbrace resigned in order to go and work with England. The former Sri Lanka batsman took over well, and proceeded to beat Farbrace's new side on their own soil a few weeks later.

As such, with a short list of around nine people being pondered, Atapattu feels he is the strongest candidate to hold the job, over names like Mickey Arthur, Eric Simons, and other high-profile coaches.

Atapattu told Sri Lanka's <i>Daily Mirror</i>: "I consider my self as to be at the top of the list.

"The reasons being that the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has already shown confidence in me by progressively upgrading me from the position of batting coach to assistant coach and as head coach for 3 tours: England, South Africa, and Pakistan.

"I have achieved close to 70 % success rate as head coach in these tours .Secondly being a Sri Lankan I have got the best rapport possible with the players, staff and the administration specially with no language barrier.

"I also understand the Sri Lankan mentality, the culture and also know the idiosyncrasies of each player as I have known them from the beginning of their cricketing careers.

"Also having had the exposure as batting coach and head coach for a fair period of time, I have already identified the requirements for the future short and long term strategic plans for cricket development."

Atapattu was also up for the job in 2013 but didn't get it, though he held no bitterness about that, saying: "I don't consider my self as having been snubbed by the SLC on that occasion.

"To explain, I must say that the post of head coach was advertised and I was one of the applicants. Interviews and presentations were held where I too participated. The panel selected an individual whom they thought is the best and it had the right to do so."

The coach added that he had been helped in his role by senior players like Mahela Jayawardene, Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara, not to mention skipper Angelo Mathews, saying: "My relationship with all senior players has been good.

"They have extended their co-operation to the captain and to my self at all stages. They have also guided the juniors, encouraged them when necessary and overall made my job as coach much easier.

"They have always inculcated a sense of discipline amongst the juniors both in and out of the field."

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