SLC requests Sports Minister to retain Hathuru for NZ series | Daily News


 

Until suitable successor is found:

SLC requests Sports Minister to retain Hathuru for NZ series

Test skipper Dimuth Karunaratne (right) will have Chandika Hathurusingha as head coach for the two-Test series against New Zealand if the Sports Minister okays Sri Lanka Cricket’s request.
Test skipper Dimuth Karunaratne (right) will have Chandika Hathurusingha as head coach for the two-Test series against New Zealand if the Sports Minister okays Sri Lanka Cricket’s request.

Sri Lanka Cricket’s Executive Committee yesterday made an appeal to the Minister of Telecommunication, Foreign Employment and Sports Harin Fernando to give time till the end of the New Zealand series to carry out his ‘directive’ to SLC pertaining to the change of the coaching staff of the national team.

If the Minister gives the ‘okay’ then Chandika Hathurusingha will continue as head coach for the New Zealand series as well.

The New Zealand team will arrive tonight for a series of two Tests (that will be part of the ICC Test Championship) at Galle and P Sara Oval and three T20 Internationals all at Pallekele.

SLC secretary Mohan de Silva said that the Executive Committee members met the Minister and had a rather cordial discussions pertaining to cricket and during the meeting they had made the appeal to give them some time to implement his directive.

Following Sri Lanka’s rather dismal performance in the 2019 Cricket World Cup where they failed to qualify for a place in the semi-finals, the Minister wanted SLC to revamp the entire support staff after the three-match ODI series against Bangladesh.

Apart from Hathurusingha whose contract runs until December next year the majority of the support staff’s contract expired at the end of July.

With this new turn of events with SLC requesting the Minister for time till the end of the New Zealand series whether the rest of the support staff will be retained is a matter of conjecture.

Following the Minister’s directive SLC began its head hunt for a permanent coach to replace Hathurusingha and it was hoped that a new coach would take over for the series against New Zealand. However, it is learnt that SLC does not want to rush into appointing someone and then regretting later as it has been in the case of Hathurusingha.

The previous SLC committee was in a hurry to appoint Hathurusingha as the head coach and gave into everything he wanted resulting in him ending up as the highest paid head coach in the history of Sri Lanka cricket.

They even went to the extent of making him a member of the selection committee thereby creating a conflict of interest and causing dissension among the players in the team.

Hathurusingha was the coach of Bangladesh at the time but SLC wheedled him out hoping he could bring about the change to the country’s flagging cricket fortunes as he had done with Bangladesh.

However that dream didn’t materialize as they had hoped for and with every defeat Sri Lanka suffered the pressure mounted on Hathurusingha to be replaced. During Hathurusingha’s period as a selector there were widespread reports of certain players being favoured despite not performing.

All this ended when the current SLC committee removed him from the post of selector and brought in chief selector Ashantha de Mel to play the dual role as manager/cum selector of the team for the World Cup.

De Mel retained that position for the Bangladesh ODI series which Sri Lanka won by a 3-0 margin thus ending a 44-month barren run without a series win since November 2015.

Meanwhile the itinerary of the New Zealand tour has undergone a change with all three T20Is being played at Pallekele.

The earlier schedule had the first two matches at the R Premadasa Stadium and the third at Pallekele.

 

 


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