'We spend huge amounts to import garbage coaches' - Arjuna Ranatunga slams SLC for ignoring local talents

‘We spend huge amounts to import garbage coaches’ – Arjuna Ranatunga slams SLC for ignoring local talents

At present, South African Mickey Arthur is the head coach of the Sri Lankan national team.

Arjuna Ranatunga
Arjuna Ranatunga. (Photo by Pradeep Gaur/Mint via Getty Images)

Former Sri Lanka skipper Arjuna Ranatunga has slammed Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) for ignoring local talents while hiring “garbage” foreign coaches. Ranatunga’s comments came on the 25th anniversary of Sri Lanka’s World Cup triumph. In 1996, he led Sri Lanka to their first and till date only title in the 50-over World Cup.

Under Ranatunga’s captaincy, Sri Lanka thrashed Australia in the final as they finished the competition without losing any game. Since then, their best results have been the runners-up finishes in 2007 and 2011. In recent years, the Islanders have struggled to do well not only in the World Cup but also in other tournaments and series. In the last edition of the tournament, they could not make it out of the group stages.

“We spend huge amounts to import garbage coaches. There is good (coaching) talent in the country, but they are going abroad because there is no recognition for them at home,” said Arjuna Ranatunga while  marking the silver jubilee of the 1996 victory at a national ceremony hosted by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Sri Lanka relying on foreign coaches: Arjuna Ranatunga

Arjuna Ranatunga further highlighted the names of some legendary cricketers from the country who have not been hired by SLC. He said former national players such as his 1996 vice-captain Aravinda de Silva, as well as Mahela Jayawardene and Marvan Atapattu, were among the best batting coaches in the world.

Incidentally, Sri Lanka were coached by a foreign coach (Dav Whatmore) when they won the 1996 World Cup. Since then, the Islanders have relied a lot on the foreign coaches to get things done. At present, South African Mickey Arthur is the head coach of the team. Last month, SLC had hired Australia’s Tom Moody as a consultant.

Moody had also coached Sri Lanka from 2005 to 2007. Other foreign coaches who have plied their trade for Sri Lanka include Bruce Yardley, John Dyson, Paul Farbrace, Graham Ford and Geoff Marsh. From 2018 to 2019, SLC had hired former Sri Lanka cricketer Chandika Hathurusingha as the coach but the move did not pay off. He was sacked by SLC after Sri Lanka’s poor performance in the 2019 World Cup.