Famed South African paceman Allan Donald began his appointment Tuesday as Sri Lanka’s interim bowling coach, declaring the squad has the potential to claim victory in next month’s Champions Trophy. Donald was hired by the Sri Lankan cricket board as a fast bowling consultant ahead of the tournament in England. “The Sri Lankan attack has what it takes to win the tournament,” he told reporters at the cricket board headquarters. “Sri Lanka has a lot of skills. Lot of leadership with the ball… what is there to be scared of?”
Donald said his was an “inspirational role” and he would be working closely with the squad to assess their individual goals, health condition and personalities. Sri Lanka head coach Graham Ford, a fellow South African, has been preparing the 15-man squad led by Angelo Mathews for the 50-over tournament starting June 1. Donald will work with Sri Lankan pace bowling coaches Chaminda Vaas, Champaka Ramanayake, Ravindra Pushpakumara and Nuwan Zoysa. Donald was one of Test cricket’s top fast bowlers between 1992 and 2002, taking 330 wickets in 72 Tests at an average of 22.25.
Sri Lanka reached the final of Champions Trophy only once in 2002-03, which was hosted in their home but had to share with India because the match ended with no result due to incessant rain. They are placed in Group B in the tournament alongside South Africa, India and Pakistan.