The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Talks on Kontouri see little progress

Colombo: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) claims to have been in touch with Alex Kontouri for taking charge at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) but the Sri Lankan physio says there has hardly been any discussion.

“There has been some talk in the sense that they wanted to know as to what I was doing after the World Cup,” Kontouri told The Telegraph Monday morning. In fact, that had happened quite some time back and there has been no word since.

Kontouri’s contract with the Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka (BCCSL) is till the showpiece event in South Africa and he is not interested in a renewal.

“I’m not going to stay with Sri Lanka any further. There is too much of travelling, almost seven to eight months a year, and I’m not interested,” he added.

The Australian, who has played a big role in Sri Lanka’s ascendancy in world cricket, has served the side for more than seven years now.

It is learnt that Kontouri is considering a few more offers and it should come as no surprise if he is not too inclined to take up the BCCI proposal. “Basically, I’m looking at doing some development work which involves staying put at a particular place,” he added.

The BCCSL, however, does not seem to have much of a clue about Kontouri’s decision on not continuing with them. “The Board is taking a wait and watch policy. They will think about it when it comes to that,” said a BCCSL spokesman.

The Lankans feel that it will be hard for Kontouri to break the relationship. “He has become a part and parcel of our team. He is almost as important as the coach.

Even seniors like Aravinda de Silva and Arjuna Ranatugna, during his playing days, used to depend so much on him. He is the main man behind the team’s fitness,” said a Lankan cricketer.

Whether he still stays on with the Sri Lankan team is a matter of conjecture, but one thing is for sure, the BCCI has to open a dialogue with him soon if it is interested in having him for the NCA.

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