AUS v SL: Avishka Gunawardene appointed Sri Lanka’s interim batting coach

Avishka Gunawardene, the former opener, will take charge until the return of Jon Lewis.

Avishka Gunawardene had served as Sri Lanka’s batting coach in 2017.   -  PTI

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) on Wednesday named former opener Avishka Gunawardene as the national team’s interim batting coach until the return of Jon Lewis, who is on leave to attend to a family matter.

This will be Gunawardene’s second stint with the national team. He had served as the batting coach in 2017. The former Sri Lanka opener, who played six Tests and 61 One-Day Internationals (ODIs), has been serving as the batting coach of the Islanders’ ‘A’ side since May, 2016.

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Announcing his association with the national side, SLC said on Twitter: “SLC appointed ‘A’ team coach Avishka Gunawardene as the batting coach of the national team, until the return of Jon Lewis, who is on leave to attend a family matter. Gunawardene will fly to Australia tonight and will remain with the side, until the conclusion of the second Test [against Australia].”

Problems galore

Sri Lanka’s problems compounded after the first Test, which it lost by an innings and 40 runs in Brisbane. Injuries to fast bowlers have forced the team management to call up uncapped Chamika Karunaratne; it has also contentiously relieved coach Chandika Hathurusingha from his duties as a selector-on-tour.

“The team on tour shall be made by a committee comprising of team manager and captain in consultation with the national selection committee,” SLC mentioned in a release.

“The majority decision of the manager, captain and members of the selection committee shall prevail on any selection made thereof,” it added.

The second Test between Australia and Sri Lanka will be played at the Manuka Oval here from Friday.