x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Local to succeed Bayliss?

It has never been particularly trendy for international teams, especially in Asia, to appoint a home-bred coach.

Which is best: local knowledge or imported wisdom? It is a decision Sri Lanka cricket will be faced with in about four months' time when Trevor Bayliss leaves his position as head coach of the national team.

The Australian confirmed last week that he plans to step down after the World Cup. For once, there is a realistic chance he could be replaced by a Sri Lankan.

It has never been particularly trendy for international teams, especially in Asia, to appoint a home-bred coach. There is currently an equal split among the 10 full Test nations. Five have foreign coaches: England, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe.

Of the other five, three - West Indies, Pakistan and New Zealand - have had imported hired hands in charge until relatively recently. South Africa and Australia, the other two, are clearly the most secure in their own wisdom.

It would take quite a leap of faith for Sri Lanka to promote from within when the post becomes available, but they do have the option in the form of Chandika Hathurusinghe, the one-time UAE coach.

He transformed the UAE national team during eight months in charge in 2006, a role that he was so keen on he retired prematurely from playing to take it.

He applied for the head coach position of his homeland when Tom Moody, the Australian, left after the 2007 World Cup.

He did not get it, but was kept close to the team, first as coach of the Sri Lanka A team, then as the batting coach of the senior side.

Now he appears to be well placed if the powers-that-be do opt to go native.

pradley@thenational.ae