Sri Lanka eye Rhodes, Blewett for assistant coach

June 24, 2007 (AFP) – Sri Lanka have short-listed South African Jonty Rhodes and Australia’s Greg Blewett to assist newly appointed head coach Trevor Bayliss, an official said on Sunday.

The search for an assistant coach arose after former Sri Lankan fast bowler Rumesh Ratnayake turned down a Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) offer last week, citing personal reasons.

“We were looking up to Rumesh with the future in mind, but now that he is unavailable we have to weigh our options,” an SLC source told AFP.

Rhodes and Blewett may be contacted because Sri Lanka were looking for candidates whose speciality was fielding, the source said.

However, SLC spokesman Samantha Algama clarified that no names had officially been put forward for the post.

“Sri Lanka Cricket will decide soon who will be contacted,” Algama said.

Rhodes, 37, was regarded as one of the world’s best fielders during his 11-year career that ended in 2003 after 52 Tests and 245 one-day internationals.

Blewett, 35, played 46 Tests and 32 one-dayers for Australia from 1995 to 2000 before retiring from first-class cricket last month.

Australian Tom Moody coached Sri Lanka to the World Cup final in t