Paul Farbrace admitted that it was impossible turn down the job even though he will have mixed feelings when he faces former employers Sri Lanka next month. (AFP Photo)
London: England's new assistant coach Paul Farbrace admitted on Thursday that it was impossible turn down the job even though he will have mixed feelings when he faces former employers Sri Lanka next month.
Farbrace was lured away from his role as Sri Lanka coach by the opportunity to work as number two to new England head coach Peter Moores.
The former Kent wicketkeeper met Moores and a handful of players at the National Performance Centre in Loughborough on Thursday just 24 hours after his release from Sri Lanka Cricket was completed.
Farbrace had only been in his previous post since December, during which time the Englishman had led the Sri Lankans to success in the Asia Cup and World Twenty20. His departure after such a brief but successful tenure, and on the eve of the Sri Lankans' tour of Ireland and England, has caused some consternation in Colombo.
Farbrace concedes the switch has come at an awkward time for all concerned but could not resist the lure of the England and Wales Cricket Board.
"It doesn't look great from the outside, someone leaving a job after four months, and I understand from a Sri Lankan point of view that there is disappointment because it was a successful time," he told BBC Radio Five.
"I understand there will be that disappointment but as I went back to explain to them on Monday, the opportunity to work with my own team, my own country, and be working from home was an offer I couldn't really refuse. The opportunity to work with your own national team is almost beyond your wildest dreams. It's a fantastic opportunity and a great time to be involved. There was some disappointment but most people in the room understood the situation. I like to think we finish on reasonably good terms.
"It will be interesting for me and the players that the series in a couple of weeks is against Sri Lanka and there will be some mixed feelings because I built some good relationships - not just this time but the previous time - with the players.
"As a coach you do make good, strong relationships and they're not easy things to put to one side when you are playing against them."
Having had the details of his appointment ironed out in time to get to work with Moores this week, Farbrace is now enthused about the challenge ahead.
"I came across Mooresy in international cricket, when he was coach of England and I was assistant at Sri Lanka, and in county cricket when we worked together on the level four ECB programme," Farbrace added.
"We have spent a lot of time together and he is someone I have admired and watched work from a distance for a long time. It's a brilliant opportunity to work with him."