Asanka Gurusingha Appointed SLC's High Performance Unit

Published - 20 Apr 2018, 11:18 PM

Asanka Gurusingha
Photo Credits: AFP

Sri Lanka has appointed former cricketer, Asanka Gurusinha as the new chief Cricket Operations officer with immediate effect.

Gurusinha, a former batsman was a member of the 1996 World Cup winning squad. Meanwhile, Sri Lanka believes the move will help to bridge the gap between the national team. They will surely look for a change in fortunes for the national team.

Gurusingha will take charge of the High-Performance Unit and Brain Centre Operations. He will also take charge of the international and women’s crickets affairs. The high-performance role vacated by Simon Wills will also be filled up by him.

Simon Willis stepped down due to personal reasons. Wills was originally slated to end his term on 30th June. However, he had to leave a month ago due to personal reasons. Gurusinga will officially take over from May 15.

“With the High-Performance Centre we were having a lot of problems, where when we got players to the national team they were not ready to play a game,” Gurusinha told ESPNcricinfo. “The intensity levels were low. So [Head Coach] Chandika [Hathurusinha] was struggling when the replacements came in. It took him a couple of extra weeks to get them up and running.

“We’ll seriously review the High-Performance Centre because I believe if we do the same thing that we did in the last two years we will not produce cricketers, and that’s the main thing for us. We need to start producing cricketers.”

(Photo credit should read ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

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Gurusinha is also of the opinion that his working relationship with Hathurusingha will make sure the communication line between the HPU and the national team is always productive.

“Even though I wasn’t directly part of [setting up] the Brain Centre, I was working with them a lot very closely to get data,” he explained. “One of the things for me is that I know exactly what Chandika needs data wise. I can train these Brain Centre staff to focus on getting that information to give Chandika and his team.

“The short-term focus will be on player management. To win the World Cup, we need our best players fit. Hathuru and I will be spending more time on better managing the players. We have 14 Test matches and about 25 ODIs before the World Cup. If we don’t manage workloads correctly, then we won’t have bowlers.

“[In the long term] we want more [depth]. Right now, we have five fast bowlers injured (Dushmantha Chameera, Nuwan Pradeep, Shehan Madushanka, Asitha Fernando, and Suranga Lakmal), and we don’t have too many replacements coming in, so we seriously need to look at what we’re going to do and build something. We’re not going to find too many, but if we can even find a couple of young guys we can do something because there’s so much cricket to play.”

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SLC President echoes the same views 

Meanwhile, SLC President Thilanga Sumathipala opined the same. He further confirmed the board they were also in process of appointing a new cricket manager for the national team.

“We’re comfortable with Hathurusingha and so we need an administrative manager, whereas Gurusinha is a level, 3 qualified coach. His technical knowledge is so good that we feel he would be better used in the high-performance field,” explained Sumathipala.

“There are people at the national level getting injured, they take longer than we expect to recover, so our rehabilitation situation is not ideal where some guys take three-four months to come back. In High Performance, we need a top qualified coach and we’re happy Gurusinha has agreed to take over.”

Sri Lanka squad ODI series Zimbabwe Bangladesh
Sri Lanka has announced a squad for the ODI tri-series including Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. Image Courtesy: Getty Images

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