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Moody's homecoming helped by sponsorship

The call of home and the cash of an Indian industrialist has persuaded Tom Moody to turn his back on international cricket to take up the coaching reins of Western Australia's state side.

After months of speculation, during which time Moody guided Sri Lanka to a World Cup final, the WA Cricket Association finally announced a favourite cricketing son would return to the place where it all began, to continue his coaching career.

But WACA CEO Graeme Wood and president Dennis Lillee both admitted if not for the sponsorship deal between Moody and businessman Vikas Rambal - believed to be doubling Moody's yearly salary - the 41 year-old wouldn't have signed on.

"Domestically we cannot compete with international salaries that are being offered, so it was essential that we have a private sponsorship," Wood said.

Moody met with Sri Lankan cricket officials, where he informed them he would not be taking up an offer to prolong his two years in charge there.

And in a double blow to the World Cup finalists their assistant coach Trevor Penney will move with Moody to take up a similar job with WA.

"It was a very difficult decision to make given the strong relationship that has been built between Sri Lanka Cricket and myself," said Moody who has signed on for three years.

"But at this stage in my life it was important I made a bigger commitment to my family.

"I am extremely proud of my involvement with WA cricket and the success we enjoyed ... my aim as a coach will be to do what I can to help the current crop of players achieve the same success."

Moody is returning to the state where he began his first class career in 1985/86, taking over the coaching post vacated by Wayne Clark at the end of last season.

As well as playing in five Sheffield Shield-winning teams and four domestic one-day championships with WA, Moody played eight Test matches and 76 one-day internationals for Australia, including two World Cup wins in 1987 and 1999.

And since then, successful stints coaching Worcestershire and Sri Lanka have made him one of world cricket's most sought after mentors.

He will receive a similar deal from the WACA as Clark received, around $120,000 a year, but his wages will be topped up to around $200,000 per-annum by the Rambal sponsorship.

It is believed to be the first exclusive sponsorship deal of its type in Australia.

Delhi-born Rambal was deputy managing director of the $700 million Burrup fertiliser project, which started up the world's biggest liquid ammonia plant in WA's Pilbara region last year.

He said after being welcomed to WA, he wanted to give something back.

"Nothing is free ... it is a substantial investment by my family for the next couple of years," Rambal said.

"I believe every cricket fan in WA will be delighted, excited at the news."

Moody's departure from Sri Lanka brings to six the number of Test-playing nations to lose their coach during or after the World Cup.

Wood revealed Moody had been one of two final candidates to succeed John Buchanan as Australian coach before pulling out of the race.

And Lillee said he had little doubt Moody would return to the international scene eventually.

"How long he decides to become involved domestically rather than internationally because he is so sought after, is up to him," Lillee said.

"But while we have got him we are just so excited, and we have got to make the most of it."

Meanwhile, Wood said the WACA's attempts to lure former Test batsmen Simon Katich back to WA alongside Moody look to have been rebuffed.

"All indications are he will sign a three year deal and finish his career in New South Wales," Wood said.

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source - theage.com.au

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