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Sri Lanka confirms Hathurusingha as new head coach

President of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Thilanga Sumathipala today confirmed that Chandika Hathurusingha will be appointed as the Head Coach of the Sri Lankan team, with effect from December 20.

Last month, SLC confirmed it would explore the possibility of
recruiting the Bangladesh head coach for the post of National Head Coach of Sri Lanka.

Sumathipala had written to the Bangladesh Cricket Board informing them that SLC is in discussion with Hathurusigha’s attorneys and would offer him the position subject to the full release of his contractual obligations of the BCB.

The SLC President had said: “There’s no doubt that Hathurusigha would be a great fit for us with the direction of both our short and long terms goals.”

Hathurusingha was appointed as Bangladesh coach in May 2014. During his tenure, the side went on to register big achievements in world cricket, including securing a berth in the Champions Trophy semi-finals earlier this year.

The coaching position in Sri Lanka has remained vacant since South African Graham Ford quit in June. South African-born Nic Pothas was appointed as interim head coach in June for the series against Zimbabwe and India.

In October, Hathurusingha forwarded his resignation to the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) to step down as the head coach of Bangladesh. The former Sri Lankan Test cricketer arrived in Colombo last month to meet officials for talks. 

Sri Lanka are without a head coach since Graham Ford quit in June. SLC had shortlisted former Australian cricketers Geoff Marsh and Jason Gillespie for the role, but once Hathurusingha became available, the board went back to their former ‘A’ team coach.

Ironically, Hathurusingha’s first assignment as Sri Lanka head coach will be against Bangladesh next year.
Hathurusingha rose to prominence as a coach in 2002 when he guided an unfancied Moors SC team to a first-class title win as player cum coach.

He had a brief spell as coach of UAE before coming down to Colombo to take over Sri Lanka’s ‘A’ team.

-With inputs from Agencies