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Atapattu quits as Sri Lanka head coach

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Following two back-to-back Test series losses at home, Sri Lanka head coach Marvan Atapattu has resigned, a statement from the country’s cricket board said on Thursday.

“We would like to inform you of the resignation of Marvan Atapattu from the post of head coach of the Sri Lanka cricket team which has been accepted,” Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) said in a statement.

Atapattu took charge as the head coach in October 2014. The 44-year-old served as the team’s batting coach from 2011 and as interim head coach for a brief period from April 2014 after Paul Farbrace’s departure.

“During this time, he has given of his time and service with the same professionalism that was his hallmark as an international cricketer,” the statement added.

The high point of the former captain’s coaching stint was the away series victory against England in May-June 2014, when Sri Lanka excelled in all departments of the game to achieve that coveted triumph.

The resignation comes after Sri Lanka’s recent Test series losses against Pakistan and India in which they lost four out of their last six matches.

With the team going through a transition phase after the retirements of stalwarts like Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene — the two former captains have more than 50,000 runs in Tests and one-dayers between them — the Lankans failed to deliver at home.

Their series loss against India was their first after 22 years.

Sri Lanka also crashed out of the World Cup in the quarter-finals earlier this year. Bowling coach and fast bowling great Chaminda Vaas, a former teammate of Atapattu, also resigned after the quadrennial extravaganza.

According to reports, the board is unlikely to appoint a permanent coach before Sri Lanka’s next international fixture against the West Indies in mid-October. In the meantime, a local coach may take over in a temporary capacity.

Atapattu led Sri Lanka in 18 Tests during his playing career. He has 90 Test matches and Test 5502 runs to his name. The right-hander also scored 8529 runs from 268 One-Day Internationals (ODIs).

“Sri Lanka Cricket thanks Atapattu for his efforts as head coach and batting coach of Sri Lanka, and we wish him every success in all his future endeavours,” the SLC statement added.

(IANS)