By Leonard Ratnayake
Incidentally, it happened to be properly Bangladesh, where Sri Lanka’s new cricket coach Chandika Hathurusinghe would now make his first assignment on tour with a re-grouped squad of cricketers from his motherland to take the better off a team, which he had left few months ago after molding them from being underdogs to a force to reckon with.
In the wake of a very important tour to both Sri Lanka and especially Bangladesh, who will be playing their first series sans their regular coach since June 2014, Bangladeshi sports media had already launched a mental scuffle against their out-going cricket coach Chandika Haturusinghe.
In an article titled “A legacy of unprofessionalism?” on ‘The Daily Star’ newspaper in Bangladesh, the writer Sakeb Shuban had targeted Sri Lanka’s former opening batsman and now the head coach Hathurusinghe in a very amateurish manner by criticizing his exit from the role of being head coach of Bangladesh after the South African tour last year.
“Chandika Hathurusingha did not submit a coach’s report, a standard practice, after the tour of South Africa. That is one of two things that fans of Bangladesh cricket know for certain about the premature exit of the coach under whom Bangladesh has had most success.” writes Shuban without quoting any officials from the Bangladesh Cricket Board.
It is indeed very obvious that Hathurusinghe had elevated a team of minnows to match winners. The Sri Lankan, who previously worked as a shadow coach for Sri Lanka national team and then coached the Sydney Thunder Twenty20 team, had taken the Bangladeshi team over from Australian Shane Jurgensen. The Australian had quitted three months before after presiding over a disastrous run at home, which saw Bangladesh thrashed by Sri Lanka in a limited-over series and humbled in the Asia Cup and ICC World Twenty20 despite being hosts.
“There should be continuous success, not one or two series wins, My main goal is to make sure that when my two years is finished, Bangladesh are in a good position to win matches at home and away,” Hathurusinghe said at a press conference in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka in June 2014. After two years, Bangladesh renewed Hathurusinghe’s contract as head coach for another term but there had been many a hiccups in between with the Sri Lankan threatening to resign in few occasions.
Nevertheless, The Daily Star reported that Since Hathurusingha’s resignation midway through the South Africa tour in September-October last year, the reasons for his exit have been shrouded in conjecture chiefly from BCB president Nazmul Hassan. The speculation ranged from current Test captain Shakib Al Hasan asking for a break from Test cricket before the South Africa tour to the players being too intimate with the media.
“He is a coach feted for his planning and professionalism, but on the evidence of his exit, only the former can be true, and that too when it comes to his own coaching career.” Shuban further said delicately contradicting to what Hathurusinghe had done Bangladesh cricket and ignoring the tense situation the coach had lived with the BCB. (www.srilankasports.com)