South African legend Jacques Kallis was on Monday appointed as the batting consultant of the England team for next month’s two-match Test tour of Sri Lanka.

The England and Wales Cricket Board said in a statement that the team will be joined by seven coaches when they depart for Sri Lanka on January 2.

“Seven coaches will join the squad for the two-Test tour, with the tour party departing on 2 January,” the ECB said. “Former South Africa all-rounder Jacques Kallis joins the England setup for the first time as batting coaching consultant,” it added.

It is not yet known if Kallis’ appointment will extend to the marquee tour of India beginning February next year.

Former England batsman Paul Collingwood will be assistant to head coach Chris Silverwood in Sri Lanka, while Jon Lewis will be the bowling coach. Jeetan Patel will be the spin bowling consultant and Carl Hopkinson will serve as the fielding coach. James Foster will be the wicketkeeper coaching consultant.

The 45-year-old Kallis worked in a similar role with the Proteas last year in the Test series against England. Kallis has scored 13,298 runs from 166 Tests at an average of 55.37 for South Africa, in addition to taking 292 wickets.

Both the Tests will be played at Galle from January 14-18 and January 22-26.

Earlier, there were concerns over the viability of the tour but the Sri Lankan government gave the go ahead earlier this month after protracted negotiations, given the extensive travel bans being imposed on the UK by several countries, following the spread of a new variant of the coronavirus.

With PTI Inputs