Bringing an end to all the speculations, Sri Lanka, on Friday (December 8), appointed Chandika Hathurusingha as their head coach. The former Bangladesh coach will take charge from December 20.
The newly-appointed head coach’s first assignment will be the tour to Bangladesh, where he will have just finished up his previous role. Reports of Hathurusingha’s leaving the Bangladesh job to join his national team were doing the rounds since it emerged that he had handed his resignation to the Bangladesh Cricket Board as early as October.
However, a final decision was not materialising as Bangladesh were not ready to snap up the ties with the Sri Lankan. Later, SLC president had written to BCB to . And it seems the matter has ended on an amicable note as SLC has now confirmed that Hathurusingha will begin his three-year contract with Sri Lanka on December 20, just as their T20s against India start. A two Test tour of Bangladesh is set to begin in January.
Meanwhile, according to a report in ESPNcricinfo, Hathurusingha will be the highest-paid Sri Lanka coach in history. The 49-year old is also set to visit Dhaka on Saturday to wrap up the paper work with BCB. His contact with Bangladesh was set to end after the 2019 World Cup before he made up his mind to join his home country’s team after being persuaded by SLC.
Hathurusingha will take up the job which has been vacant since Graham Ford stepped down after a disastrous Champions Trophy where they exited at the group stage. Since then, interim coach Nic Pothas was guiding the team. Meanwhile, the newly-appointed coach is not new to coaching in Sri Lanka. He had been Sri Lanka’s A team coach, and an assistant coach with the national team before snapping up the ties in 2010 after his relationship with the board turned sour.
SLC, meanwhile, will be hoping that Hathurusingha’s appointment changes the team’s fortunes. Hathurusingha has had a very successful stint with Bangladesh. He guided Bangladesh to the quarter-final of the 2015 World Cup, and the semi-final of the 2017 Champions Trophy in addition to helping them to register ODI series wins over India, Pakistan and South Africa. In Tests, Bangladesh registered their first-ever wins against England and Australia at home, and against Sri Lanka away.
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