Tillakaratne set for reprieve as Sri Lanka skipper

COLOMBO, Oct 11 (Reuters) - Hashan Tillakaratne is expected to earn a reprieve as Sri Lanka test captain with Marvan Atapattu retaining the one-day leadership for England’s six-week tour starting next month.

The decision to continue with the shared captaincy was reached last week following discussions in Colombo between a four-man selection committee and new coach John Dyson.

Chairman of selectors Lalith Kaluperuma would not confirm the decision but sources have revealed that the selectors want to give Tillakaratne, now 35, another chance to prove himself despite a disappointing start.

The decision needs ratification from the sports ministry. "We will probably get confirmation on Monday," Kaluperuma said.

Sri Lanka failed to win a test in four attempts following Tillakaratne’s appointment in April after Sanath Jayasuriya stepped down, drawing a two-test home series 0-0 against New Zealand and losing 1-0 to West Indies in the Caribbean.

Atapattu’s short tenure was also mixed as Sri Lanka failed to qualify for a triangular series final on home soil for the first time, although he did lead the side to a 2-1 win against West Indies.

The selectors will not pick the squad for the England series until after Sri Lanka A’s current tour of South Africa and Kenya, which continues until the end of Oct.

England will play three one-dayers and three tests in Sri Lanka during November and December after their inaugural tour of Bangladesh.