Aravinda de Silva says Sri Lankan cricket powerbrokers are keen to talk with Justin Langer if the ousted Australian coach shares a reciprocated interest in Sri Lanka’s vacant coaching post.
Sri Lanka is on the hunt for a new full-time coach to replace Mickey Arthur after he departed the role, Australian media codesports reported.
Former Sri Lankan paceman Rumesh Ratnayake is serving as interim coach for the Australian tour.
De Silva, the former Sri Lankan captain and champion batter, is a member of the country’s cricket technical advisory committee, which provides guidance to its board.
While he confirmed that the process of finding a replacement for Arthur was well down the track, de Silva said that Sri Lanka Cricket would be interested in having a chat with Langer following his resignation as Australian coach this month despite his side’s T20 World Cup and Ashes victories this season.
Langer has also been linked to the vacant England coaching job following the axing of Chris Silverwood.
“We are in the process of looking for a national coach,” de Silva said from Colombo.
“If (Langer is) available we would like to have a chat to him, to see his interest levels.”
De Silva has endorsed another option, Naveed Nawaz, as a replacement for Arthur.
“We’ve had long hours of interviewing so many candidates,’’ he said. “Naveed Nawaz, who was with the Bangladesh under-19 team and has been the under-19 coach previously here, we’ve identified him as one very good individual.”
De Silva said that Sri Lanka needed a “father figure” coach given the relative lack of experience in the squad.
“You need to understand the players’ mindset,’’ he said. “We don’t have any senior players such as the ones we’ve had in the past, Mahela (Jayawardene), Sanga (Kumar Sangakkara), Sanath (Jayasuriya), these kind of players. You need to basically have someone who understands and becomes a father figure and also to mitigate the language barrier.
“That’s been one of the major issues. We need to have someone who gets the right message across and understands our culture as well. These are things that we have been focusing on in finding the right candidate.”
Langer’s manager James Henderson said that there had already been plenty of inquiries about the West Australian’s intentions.
“There’s a lot of interest in Justin’s availability from all around the world – inside and outside the game,” he said.