Sri Lanka Hire Penney as Fielding Coach!

Trevor Penney has been appointed Sri Lanka’s fielding coach until the end of the 2015 World Cup, Sri Lanka Cricket has confirmed. Sports psychologist and former England offspinner Jeremy Snape has also been contracted for 17 days during England’s upcoming ODI tour of Sri Lanka.

Penney, who had been Sri Lanka’s assistant coach from 2005 to 2007 was “conversant with the Sri Lanka Team environment and culture”, an SLC release said. He will begin his tenure on November 20, ahead of the England series. Penney had developed a reputation for being a hard-working, incisive coach during his previous stint with the side.

SLC had previously said Penney was being considered for a fielding-cum-assistant coach role, but has now opted to leave the assistant coach position vacant. CEO Ashley de Silva said the board “has not made a decision on whether an assistant coach will be appointed, or whether we will carry on with our existing coaching structure.”

Penney had been India’s fielding coach from 2011 until he was asked to leave his post following India’s Test series defeat in England this year. He was offered a role with India’s National Cricket Academy but chose to end his contract instead. He has also been involved with the Kolkata Knight Riders IPL franchise.

Snape, meanwhile, will begin his work on November 25 and is due to stay with the team until December 11. Sri Lanka’s record at recent World Cups had been a catalyst for the decision to sign a sports psychologist. A pattern of under-performance in major finals had developed between 2007 and 2012, in which time Sri Lanka were runners-up in four global events. Though the team has since won the 2014 World T20, the board has hired Snape with a view to buttressing the 2015 World Cup campaign.

An offspinning-allrounder in his playing career, Snape played 10 ODIs and a T20I for England, in addition to 121 first-class matches. He has a masters degree in sports psychology, and has worked with England, South Africa, as well as teams in the IPL and Big Bash League.

These appointments are the latest in Sri Lanka’s coaching shake-up since the departure of Paul Farbrace in April this year.