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Marvan Atapattu to coach Sri Lanka on England tour

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COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - Marvan Atapattu leads Sri Lanka on a tour of England and Ireland next week with a major task of overcoming the inside knowledge of his predecessor as national coach, Paul Fabrace.

Fabrace resigned as Sri Lanka coach on Tuesday, three successful months into a two-year contract, to return home to become the assistant to new England coach Peter Moores.

Atapattu was confirmed as the interim coach on Friday by Sri Lanka Cricket.

"That's the biggest challenge for us. (Farbrace) had been working with Sri Lankan players for the last few months. He knows the inside out of our team," chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya said. "We were a very successful team. Our team management, Marvan, (Chaminda) Vaas, and Ruwan Kalpage have to do a lot of things to come out of this problem."

Atapattu has been the national team's batting coach for three years and the assistant coach for 13 months, and was shortlisted with Farbrace for the head position at the end of last year.

His standing and the lack of time before the tour gave SLC little option but to choose Atapattu, and make his assistant Kalpage, the fielding coach and former test offspinner. Vaas was the bowling coach.

SLC appointed them only for the upcoming tour, which begins with a one-day international against Ireland on May 6, and the home series against South Africa in July.

Atapattu retired from a 90-test career, including 16 centuries, in 2007.

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