SLC to part ways with Tom Moody

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) will part ways with Tom Moody, its high profile Director of Cricket, just one-and-a-half years into his three-year deal, but will retain Mahela Jayawardena, Consultant Coach, despite the former Sri Lanka skipper this week accepting a broader responsibility with Mumbai Indians.

Moody was hired for a three year stint by a Technical Advisory Committee led by Aravinda de Silva at the start of March last year. He had a wide purview, spanning the women’s and men’s game, and domestic and international cricket. Among his priorities was restructuring Sri Lanka’s domestic cricket, which he did by introducing a five-team provincial tournament on top of the 26-club first class tournament.

However, the Board now feels that, with Jayawardena heavily involved in shaping the future of cricket in the island, it could do without Moody now. Thus, it has reached an amicable exit plan with the former Australian cricketer-turned-coach. He will be paid US$ 45,000 as compensation.

His three-year contract mandates Moody to spend at least 300 days in Sri Lanka focusing on “analysis of the future tour programme, focusing on the domestic tournament structure, player welfare, education and skill development, coaching and support staff structure, high performance, and data analytics”.

He was paid a fee of US$ 2,000 for each day he spent in Sri Lanka, in addition to all other perks including five-star accommodation.

“We will make a final call soon,” replied SLC president Shammi Silva, when the Sunday Times questioned the status of Moody’s contract with SLC, without elaborating on what the call would be.

However, a senior officer confirmed the Board has already mutually agreed with Moody to part ways.

“We will have to compensate him for early termination but even that’s a better option than keeping him for further one-and-a-half years,” sources said, on the condition of anonymity.

Moody had been Sri Lanka’s coach between 2005 and 2007, the years in which Sri Lanka tasted considerable success in the Test format, and became World Cup runners-up. However, his latest stint with SLC attracted more brickbats than praise, with many questioning the need to hire an Australian to restructure country’s domestic cricket when it had enough and more qualified cricketers within the country to do so.

Meanwhile, SLC credited Mahela Jayawardena with the resurgence of national cricket team and of other age group teams.

“As the consultant coach, he is doing a fantastic job behind the scene. A lot of credit should go to him for the work. Today, it’s not only the national team that is performing but also all other teams at various age group levels,” said Silva when asked whether Jayawardena will keep his position despite his latest job with Mumbai Indians.

Three-time IPL winning Mumbai Indians coach Jayawardena was appointed as the franchise’s Global Head of Performance. In his new position, Jayawardena will oversee coaching and scouting for all the three teams the franchise owners now have: Mumbai Indians in the IPL, MI Emirates in the ILT20, and MI Cape Town in the SA20.

“We have no problem with his new role with Mumbai Indians. He will continue to support our cricketers,” said Silva.

After years of inconsistent performance, national teams, both red and white-ball, have shown steady progress across three formats (Test, ODI and T20) in all age groups. This week, Sri Lanka won its first major title in eight year, the Asia Cup, and Jayawardena, according to Silva, was involved with strategising the team’s ascent.


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