England’s decision to poach Sri Lanka’s head coach Paul Farbrace and immediately thereafter utilise him in a series against the Sri Lankans has raised eyebrows, with questions being raised on whether the move was ethical and in line with the spirit of cricket.
Sri Lanka, who are currently in England, will meet their hosts again when the fourth match of the ongoing five-match series gets underway on Sunday at Lord’s — home to the holiest shrine of cricket and the custodians of the sport’s laws and the spirit of the game.
Transparency International, the global anti-corruption watchdog, weighed in on the matter.
“In the business world this would be considered a clear conflict of interest, and it would be unusual for a senior employee to move to a competitor and work for them immediately in competition with their previous employer,” Dr Robert Barrington, the executive director of Transparency International UK, toldIsland Cricket.
“It’s more common in sport. For example, when football club managers switch teams. Unfortunately, sports governance often reflects the charming but out-dated approach of the amateur age, when informal structures were bolstered by personal integrity.
“Cricket’s recent problems with match-fixing demonstrate that the game’s governance needs to be updated, and the rejection by the ICC of the Woolf report proposing such reforms means that cricket’s global leadership is not setting a good example.”
Farbrace was recruited as Sri Lanka’s head coach in December, and three months into his two-year stint, shortly prior to Sri Lanka’s tour of England, the 46-year-old accepted an offer from his native England to join them as their assistant-coach, leaving Sri Lanka scrambling in search of a coach before an important tour.