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Marvan Atapattu

Deshabandu Marvan Samson Atapattu (born 22 November 1970 in Kalutara) is a Sri Lankan cricket coach and former cricketer who played Tests and ODIs for seventeen years for Sri Lanka.[1] One of the most stylish openers in world cricket, Atapattu went on to become one of Sri Lanka's most prolific run scorers of all time, scoring six double centuries in Tests.

He has coached Canada and Singapore national cricket teams previously.[2] From April 2014 to September 2015, he was the head coach of Sri Lankan Cricket Team.[3][4]

School times

Marvan Atapattu started his cricket career as a teenager at Mahinda College, Galle, where Major G. W. S. de Silva was his first cricket coach.[5] Then he crossed over to Ananda College, Colombo, where he was subsequently coached by P. W. Perera.[5]

International career

Making his Test debut in November 1990 just after his 20th birthday, Atapattu's first six innings yielded five ducks and a 1,[6] and he was the first Sri Lankan batsman to be dismissed for a pair on debut.[7] After this difficult start in his first three matches, he did not score above 29 in his next 11 innings, before hitting his first Test century in his 10th match, against India, seven years after his debut. He has 22 Test-match career ducks and four pairs (two ducks in a single Test), both records for a top-order batsman.

He made his One-Day International debut against India at Nagpur. He was appointed as captain of the one-day team on April 2003. He registered his highest Test score of 249 against Zimbabwe in 2004, sharing a 438-run partnership with Kumar Sangakkara for the second wicket. Atapattu scored a century in the first innings of the Second Test during his team's tour of Australia in 2004 in Cairns, Queensland. His third century in five innings, he made 133.[8] A "determin[ed]" Atapattu, ESPNcricinfo wrote, "pull[ed] authoritatively ... tuck[ed] in neatly behind the ball."[9] He finished the two-match series scoring 156 runs at an average of 39.00 and was the top-scorer for his side.[10]

Atapattu was a skilful fielder with an accurate throw. A report prepared by ESPNcricinfo in late 2005 showed that since the 1999 Cricket World Cup, he had effected the second highest number of run-outs in ODI cricket of any fieldsman, with the seventh-highest success rate.[11] He was controversially[12] left out of the squad for the 2007 Cricket World Cup, and as a result, asked for his removal from the list of Sri Lanka contracted players. Atapattu was to miss the 2007–08 tour of Australia, but was added to the squad after the intervention of Sri Lankan Sports Minister Gamini Lokuge. Atapattu played solidly in the First Test, but subsequently angrily labelled the selectors: "A set of muppets, basically, headed by a joker," at a post-stumps press conference.

After Sri Lanka lost the series 2–0, Atapattu announced his international retirement after the second Test at Hobart.[13] He finished with 5,502 Test runs at an average of 39.02 in 90 Tests with a One-day International average of 37.57 after hitting 8,529 runs in 268 matches. Atapattu scored six double centuries and sixteen centuries in his Test cricket career.[14] He has scored centuries against all Test-playing nations.

Coaching career

In 2009, Atapattu had a coaching stint with the Fingara Cricket Academy, a coaching facility in Sri Lanka. He had a short stint as Canada's batting coach in early 2009,[15] subsequently helping them qualify for the 2011 World Cup. In 2010, he was named as head coach of the Singaporean cricket team for a one-year period, which was his first full-time assignment of a coach of a national side. His first task was World Cricket League Division 5 in Nepal where the team finished third in the group stage and remained in division 5 for 2012 World League.

In April 2011, after the World Cup, Atapattu was named as the batting coach of Sri Lankan national team and joined interim coach Stuart Law, Champaka Ramanayake and Ruwan Kalpage for the tour of England. Meanwhile, he was considered for the head coach job of the team, which eventually went to Paul Farbrace, in 2013. Atapattu was promoted to the post of an assistant coach. Following Farbrace's early unexpected exit in 2014, he was appointed as interim head coach of the team.[3] During this period, Sri Lanka won its first Test series in England in 16 years, with a 1–0 win in its 2014 tour.[16] He officially took over as head coach in September 2014, and was the team's first local coach in 15 years. A 5–2 ODI series win during England's 2014 tour of Sri Lanka was the only series win for Sri Lanka after he formally took over. After consecutive Test series defeats against Pakistan and India, he resigned in September 2015.[16]

Personal life

Atapattu was educated at Mahinda College, Galle and Ananda College, Colombo. He is married to Neluni Atapattu, a Sri Lankan Chartered Accountant by profession. Marvan and Neluni have two daughters.

See also


  1. ^ "Marvan Atapattu". Cricinfo. Retrieved 4 July 2010.
  2. ^ "Atapattu to coach Singapore for 2010". Retrieved 4 July 2010.
  3. ^ a b "Marvan Atapattu appointed head coach of Sri Lankan Cricket Team". IANS. Retrieved 25 April 2014.
  4. ^ "Marvan Atapattu resigns as Sri Lanka coach". ESPNCRICINFO STAFF. Retrieved 3 September 2015.
  5. ^ a b Obeysekere, Sriyan (27 April 2003). "Marvan's bag of new one-day strategies, a marvel !". Sunday Observer. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 5 April 2012.
  6. ^ "The early developer". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 24 November 2017.
  7. ^ "Pair on debut". Cricinfo. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  8. ^ Ryan, Christian (11 July 2004). "Atapattu leads Sri Lankan riposte". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  9. ^ Ryan, Christian (10 July 2004). "Atapattu and Sangakkara lead the chase to 517". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  10. ^ "Records / Sri Lanka in Australia Test Series, 2004 / Most Runs". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  11. ^ Basevi, Trevor (8 November 2005). "Statistics – Run outs in ODIs". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 5 February 2007.
  12. ^ "Marvan not ready to throw in the towel yet".
  13. ^ "Atapattu announces his retirement". ESPNcricinfo. 20 November 2007. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  14. ^ "Most double hundreds in a career". Cricinfo. Retrieved 4 July 2010.
  15. ^ "Where are Herath's team-mates from his 1999 Test debut?". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  16. ^ a b "Marvan Atapattu resigns as Sri Lanka coach". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 3 September 2015.


External links

Preceded by
Hashan Tillakaratne
Sri Lankan Test captain
Succeeded by
Mahela Jayawardene
Preceded by
Sanath Jayasuriya
Sri Lankan ODI cricket captain
28 September 2019