COLOMBO: Jon Lewis, the former Durham county head coach, has been appointed Sri Lanka’s new batting coach, displacing incumbent Thilan Samaraweera. Lewis, 48, will join the Sri Lanka team after the Test series against New Zealand concludes, on December 30, and has a contract that will take him through to the end of the 2019 World Cup. A highly-rated coach in England, Lewis oversaw the latter stages of Durham’s run to the County Championship crown in 2013, and coached the team to the one-day title the following year. Under him, Durham were also Natwest Blast runners-up in 2016. “With his expertise and experience, I believe, Lewis will be able to bring in the required impetus to our batting, which needs stability,” SLC CEO Ashley de Silva said. Lewis played 205 first-class matches from 1990 to 2006 and amassed 10,821 runs at an average of 31.92 with 16 centuries. Samaraweera is likely to remain in Sri Lanka Cricket’s employ, and will probably take up a role in the high performance centre in Colombo, where he will work with developing and age-group players. Lewis’ appointment is one of several recent changes to the Sri Lanka set-up, following poor home series against England. In addition to a new batting coach, Sri Lanka have a new set of selectors led by Ashantha de Mel, as well as a new fielding coach in Steve Rixon, who is expected to join the team ahead of the second Test in New Zealand, which begins on December 26, in Christchurch.Published in Daily Times, December 14th 2018.