Alan Donald, the former South African fast bowler, has become the latest addition to enter the rapidly increasing foreigner infested backstage set-up for the Sri Lanka cricket team.
Donald, who has been installed as consultant fast bowling coach, joins Graham Ford (coach), Nic Pothas (fielding coach), Nick Lee (trainer), Simon Wills (high performance coach), Asanka Gurusinha (team manager), Ranjith Fernando (tour manager), Ajantha Wattegama (physiotherapist), Sriram Somayajula (analyst) and Rohan Priyadharshana – (masseur) to name some of them both local and foreign playing a part in preparing the Sri Lanka team.
Should a selector be named the Sri Lankan team will have as many as 10 backstage members (one short of a playing eleven) accompanying them to the Champions Trophy to be held in England from June 1 to 18 where the team has to play just three qualifying round matches ahead of the semi finals.
The full list is unprecedented in the annals of the sport’s administration since the return of Thilanga Sumathipala to head Sri Lanka Cricket in 2016.
Interestingly Sri Lanka won the World Cup in 1996 with only a coach and a physiotherapist when the arena was more competitive than it is today.
Donald’s enlistment comes a few weeks before the Sri Lanka team embarks to contest the eight-nation Champions Trophy.
Interestingly Sri Lanka’s opening opponent in the competition will be South Africa whose bowling attack Alan Donald spearheaded in the 1990s.
Donald will initially have a two-month stint with the Sri Lanka team and is expected to enlist as the assistant coach of the English county Kent for the 2018 season.
Former Sri Lanka fast bowlers Chaminda Vaas, Champaka Ramanayake, Ravindra Pushpakumara and Nuwan Zoysa have either assisted or are assisting the team and it is unclear whether they have all been found wanting in performance that Donald had to be enlisted.
Donald took 330 Test wickets for South Africa and was his country’s fast bowling coach for four years from 2011 to 2015.
He will have his first fling with the Sri Lanka team at a training camp in Pallekele from May 9 to 16.
Donald is yet to attain qualification as a Level Three coach for which he is working on.