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Hatu set to become Sri Lanka’s highest-paid coach ever

Hatu set to become Sri Lanka’s highest-paid coach ever

 

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Chandika Hathurusingha is set to become Sri Lanka’s Head Coach. (Files)

 

by Rex Clementine

 

Former Test cricketer Chandika Hathurusingha is set to take over as Sri Lanka’s Head Coach after he handed his letter of resignation to Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) yesterday. The BCB confirmed that Hathurusingha had expressed his desire to step down.

 

Ever since Graham Ford parted ways with the national cricket team, SLC has been having top level discussions with Hathurusingha. President Thilanga Sumathipala is believed to have had direct negotiations with the former Moors SC and Tamil Union cricketer. In recent months, former great Kumar Sangakkara too had urged Hathurusingha to take up the job and that’s said to have secured the deal.

 

Hathurusingha is likely to ask for a free hand and the personnel he requires to run the national team after his predecessors Graham Ford, Geoff Marsh and Trevor Bayliss either openly or privately expressed their concerns about individuals outside the team meddling with the affairs of the team. Tilan Samaraweera, who worked as Batting Consultant with Hathurusingha in Bangladesh has already joined the national team as Batting Coach.

 

Initially SLC was to announce the Head Coach mid this year and now it remains to be seen whether Hathurusingha will take charge of the team any sooner with the national cricket team currently in India. At present, Hathurusingha is in Australia having migrated down under in 2011. He is expected to arrive in Dhaka shortly to formally announce his decision. BCB officials were trying to convince the coach to change his mind, but admitted that it will be a tough ask.

 

SLC is believed to have offered an annual contract of US$ 300,000 making him the highest-paid coach ever in the country. That in fact is actually more than the annual earnings of a top Sri Lankan cricketer, from the board.

 

Several players of the current Sri Lankan team like Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Dimuth Karunaratne and Suranga Lakmal were groomed by Hathurusingha when he was the ‘A’ team coach.

 

In 2009, soon after he became captain, Kumar Sangakkara made a request to SLC to make Hathurusingha the understudy to Head Coach Trevor Bayliss. The board accepted the request and Hathurusingha left the ‘A’ team and joined the national side.

 

A year later, SLC suspended him after a misunderstanding with the then Chairman D. S. de Silva. In a moving letter, Sangakkara appealed to SLC to soften their stance, but his pleas fell in the deaf ears of D. S. de Silva and Nishantha Ranatunga.

 

Former Board secretary and Hathurusingha’s mentor, S. Skandakumar too intervened pleading SLC to not to take rash decisions, but D. S. and Nishantha remained steadfast. Eventually, Hathurusingha migrated to Australia.

 

Bayliss then recommended Hathurusingha to New South Wales with whom he made significant progress. Soon Bangladesh signed him in 2013. They were pushovers when Hathurusingha took charge, but since then became a force to be reckoned with. Bangladesh reached the quarter-finals of the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2015 and were semi-finalists in this year’s Champions Trophy.

 

In the last two years, they have beaten Sri Lanka, Australia and England in Test cricket. In ODIs, meanwhile, Bangladesh have recorded series wins overs India, Pakistan and South Africa.

 

Sri Lanka seem to have got the man that they desperately wanted, but can he persevere in a system that is corrupt to the core? What will he do when Shammi Silva interferes with selections? What will he do when Ravin Wickramaratne fixes club matches? What will he do when Sumathipala doubles the number of First Class teams? We shall wait and see!

Posted on 2017-11-12 23:39:08
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Should Dilshan have continued until Cricket World Cup 2019?

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THE DAY'S QUOTE

“That was pathetic. No excuse at all. The whole team is responsible. Whoever the captain is, we have to back him and try and support him. The captain has to do so many other stuff. All the 11 guys must back him and support him.” “We have addressed the issue of finishing off the overs on time in the past as well, but it cropped up again. It’s so unfortunate to see Upul going out as he is a crucial player in our set up. He batted well against South Africa and it’s so unfortunate. This can’t happen again,” - Angelo Mathews

FEEDBACK/COMMENTS

Cricket is a game of fine margins and Mathews is set to be a modern great. Hang in their Angie, this team can achieve something on this tour. Thirimane and the youngsters form was a real positive. Prasad was missed. Chameera should be persisted with. If Bairstow was our early outcome could have been very different.

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