Sri Lankan cricket teamâ€™s coach Tom Moody was in relaxed mood on Tuesday despite coming under fire from newly appointed chief selector Asantha de Mel just days before the first Test against England here at Lordâ€™s.
â€œIâ€™ve lodged nothing,â€ said Moody, denying reports coming out of Sri Lanka that heâ€™d made an official complaint.
De Mel branded the Australian â€œmore of a strategistâ€ than a coach and said the former international all-rounder had not done enough to help individual players with specific technical problems. He also told AFP in Colombo that veteran batsman Sanath Jayasuriya had been forced to retire although he blamed his predecessor, Lalith Kaluperama for the former Sri Lanka captainâ€™s exit.
And former Australia international Moody, speaking at Lordâ€™s here on Tuesday, said: â€œIâ€™ve heard what you heard and thatâ€™s on Ceefax (the BBC teletext service), a quote about the retirement of Sanath Jayasuriya. â€œAs far as weâ€™re concerned, I had a conversation with the chairman of selectors this morning and it didnâ€™t even come into the conversation.â€
However, Moody admitted the controversy was not the most helpful way of preparing for a Test match. â€œItâ€™s not ideal but itâ€™s certainly something you tend to become a bit immune to,â€ Moody said. â€œThere are various challenge you face and this is just yet another one. But our guys are pretty focused,â€ Moody insisted ahead of Thursdayâ€™s opening day of the first Test of a three-match series.
â€œYou get tested in many various ways as a coach and managing these situations is even more important. Itâ€™s just another challenge weâ€™ll have to deal with and weâ€™ll move on,â€ Moody, formerly coach at English County Worcestershire, where he was an overseas player for several seasons, explained.
He also confirmed that champion spinner Muttiah Muralitharan had returned from attending his auntâ€™s funeral in Sri Lanka and was preparing well. â€œMuraliâ€™s back, itâ€™s his first Test at Lordâ€™s, heâ€™s looking forward to it and getting out there. He got back Sunday afternoon. Heâ€™s very comfortable. He had a long spell today (Tuesday in the Lordâ€™s nets). His preparation is meticulous. Heâ€™ll make sure he does enough bowling. Itâ€™s not as if heâ€™s been short of cricket these past couple of weeks.â€
And Moody insisted the team would be able to cope with the distinctive early English season conditions, with the Lordâ€™s pitch expected to assist seam bowling, despite losing their final warm-up match against England A by 10 wickets last week.
â€œWeâ€™ve had a couple of challenging pitches but looking at that positively itâ€™s not a bad thing to go in at the deep end and know what the conditions and this ball are going to do.
â€œWe just want to make sure we get the right balance. Itâ€™s a toss up whether we go in with seven batsmen or six batsmen. Obviously, itâ€™s no secret weâ€™ll probably play only the spinner (Muralitharan) at this time of year.â€
Back in Sri Lanka, De Mel said the teamâ€™s form had slipped since Moody replaced fellow former Australia cricketer John Dyson last year. â€œWe were number two in the world rankings when John Dyson was the coach and since Tom Moody took over last year we have slipped to number six,â€ he said.
Source:The NewsMore on:Colombo, Sanath Jayasuriya, Sri Lanka, Tom Moody
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