Sri Lanka have appointed former South Africa wicketkeeper-batsman Nic Pothas as the interim coach after Graham Ford quit the job following the team’s poor ICC Champions Trophy 2017 outing. Sri Lanka failed to advanced into the semis and won only one out of their three group games. Pothas was Sri Lanka’s fielding coach since August last year and will now, according to a ESPN Cricinfo report, be in charge of the team until the end of the home series against India.
The first assignment for the South African will be the five-ODI home series against Zimbabwe, starting on June 30. It will be followed by one Test against the same opposition. It looks like a stop-gap solution before the board decides on a coach. The team is still in transition after Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene announced retirements. The results have just not gone their way and they would now hope for a change in fortunes when the series against Zimbabwe begins.
Sri Lanka have left out experienced Dinesh Chandimal for the two ODIs against Zimbabwe. The move took place to accommodate youngsters as the selectors were keen to try them out during this series. Chandimal was Sri Lanka’s leading run-getter in ODIs in 2016 but hasn’t been that successful in 2017. During the Champions Trophy, the right-hander scored only 12 runs in the two innings he played.
SL squad for first two ODIs: Angelo Mathews (c), Upul Tharanga, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, Asela Gunaratne, Wanidu Hasaranga, Lakshan Sandakan, Akila Dananjaya, Nuwan Pradeep, Lasith Malinga, Dushmantha Chameera, Lahiru Madushanka.