COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s coach Marvan Atapattu has quit following the team’s defeat by India which recorded its first Test series win on the island after 22 years, it was announced Thursday.
Atapattu, 44, the seventh Sri Lanka head coach in the past five years, had tendered his resignation which was accepted, the cricket board said in a statement.
“Sri Lanka Cricket thanks Mr. Atapattu for his efforts as Head Coach and Batting Coach of the Sri Lanka cricket team, and we wish him every success in all his future endeavours,” the statement said.
It did not say why he resigned four weeks before his one-year contract was due to expire. Atapattu was also not immediately available for comment.
His resignation followed India’s 2-1 win of a Test series in Colombo on Monday. India’s last series success in Sri Lanka came under Mohammad Azharuddin’s captaincy in 1993 when they won 1-0.
Atapattu took over the team as its coach in September last year after Englishman Paul Farbrace abruptly quit months earlier to become deputy coach of England.
Atapattu was the latest addition in a succession of coaches for Sri Lanka since 2010, following Trevor Bayliss, Stuart Law, Rumesh Ratnayake, Geoff Marsh, Graham Ford and Farbrace.
He was asked to prepare the national team to face the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, but Atapattu later blamed lack of fitness and poor form for the team’s failure to progress beyond the quarter finals.
A prolific right-hander, Atapattu scored 5,502 runs from 90 Tests, including six double-hundreds, after making his debut against India in 1990.
His 8,529 one-day runs included 11 hundreds.