London (AFP): Sri Lanka’s Thilina Kandamby said the side were about to suffer a double blow with the news that interim coach Stuart Law, as well as veteran batsman Sanath Jayasuriya, were about to leave the team.
Law was appointed the new coach of Bangladesh on Monday, succeeding fellow Australian Jamie Siddons whose contract was not renewed after the Tigers’ failed to reach the quarter-finals of this year’s World Cup.
Law - a former top class Australian batsman - will take up his Bangladesh post on July 1.
He had been assistant to former Sri Lanka coach Trevor Bayliss, who guided the side to the World Cup final, where they lost to India in Mumbai in April. Law was then promoted to interim coach after Bayliss returned home to Australia following the World Cup.
But Law’s failure to secure a permanent deal with Sri Lanka before the end of the tour of England led him to consider other options.
“He talked to us after the Twenty20 game on Saturday (which saw Sri Lanka beat England by nine wickets) and told us he was going to leave,” said Sri Lanka stand-in skipper Kandamby, who will lead his country again in the first of five one-day internationals at The Oval on Tuesday if Tillakaratne Dilshan is unfit “He has been good for us, especially in England because he has played a lot. “We have had a lot of good discussions with him and we will miss him.”
Jayasuriya’s retirement from international cricket has been known about for some time. But the decision to let the 41-year-old batsman, who until Saturday’s match had not played international cricket for nearly two years, appear in just the Twenty20 fixture and the Oval match before settling down fully to his role as an MP in Sri Lanka’s governing party, has been controversial.
However, Kandamby had nothing but praise for the 1996 World Cup winner. “He is one of the biggest legends we have ever produced, probably the best one-day player we have had in our country,” he said.
“I wish him all the best, I hope he does well. Sanath is a brilliant guy and we are happy to have him in our side, it gives us a lot of confidence. “We haven’t decided yet if we should do something for him, but if he gets a hundred that would be the best farewell he can get.”