Sri Lanka on Friday named Chandika Hathurusingha as their new head coach with the mission of ending the national team’s crisis run in international cricket.
The Sri Lankan resigned in October as Bangladesh‘s coach after guiding the national team through their most successful period in his three years in charge, masterminding Test wins over England and Australia.
He takes over a side that was hammered in Tests by India in home and away series this year and has played poorly in one-day games.
Sri Lanka cricket (SLC) said Hathurusingha, 49, will take over the national side from December 20. That means he will take charge of the team for the T20 games that end their current tour in India.
The Sri Lanka post has been vacant since South African Graham Ford quit in June. Nic Pothas has been the interim coach.
Under Hathurusingha, Bangladesh made rapid strides in world cricket, reaching the semi-finals of the Champions Trophy tournament in England this year. He was only criticised after Bangladesh’s recent tour of South Africa, where the team failed to register a single win.
His contract with the Bangladesh cricket Board was supposed to run until the 2019 World Cup and reportedly made him one of the highest-paid cricket coaches, on $40,000 a month.
Hathurusingha, a batsman, played 26 Tests and 35 one-day internationals for Sri Lanka before becoming the team’s assistant coach under Trevor Bayliss, a job he lost in 2010.
He went on to coach New South Wales in Australia before moving to Bangladesh in May 2014.
Cricketing ties between the two counties remain strained for some time now with the last bilateral series taking place all the way in 2012-13.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has recently filed a $70 million compensation claim against the Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) for its failure to honour the MoU signed between the two governing bodies to hold a certain amount of bilateral series.
The BCCI officials now believe that it could lose the rights to hold the continental cricket competition if the Indian government’s stance of no cricketing ties with Pakistan continues.
Recently the government had refused to provide visas to the Pakistan U-19 squad for the U-19 Asia Cup following which the tournament was shifted to Malaysia.
“If we didn’t get the permission to host the Pakistan’s Under-19 team from the Centre, it looks highly unlikely that we’ll get to do so in case of their senior team,” a BCCI official told the Times of India.
“The Pakistan athletes were given visas to take part in the Asian Athletics Championships, but the government says that cricket’s case is a bit different, since it has an emotional connect with people from both the countries. When we approached the government with a request, we didn’t get any response from them, but we need to decide fast since we need to inform the ACC soon,” the official added in the statement.
If the policy of denying Pakistan cricketers a visa continues, the Asian Cricket Council (ACC), the hosting rights of the senior Asia Cup could well be taken away from India as was the case in the U-19 tournament.
The Afghan cricketer had failed an ICC out-of-competition testing progamme in Dubai on January 17, 2017.
Shahzad’s sample was subsequently found to contain traces of clenbuterol after testing. The drug is classified as a non-specified substance under the World Anti Doping Agency’s (WADA) Prohibited List.
The wicketkeeper-batsman admitted to the violation and has been handed a suspended sentence which started on the day he failed his dope test.
Hence, Shahzad will be able to return to cricket in over a month on January 17, 2018.
— ICC Media (@ICCMediaComms) December 7, 2017
The 29-year-old had stated that he had inadvertently ingested the substance as a contaminant for a weight-loss programme he was undertaking at the time.
The ICC has accepted this reasoning from the Afghan player while making its final assessment, leading to a much more lenient sentence than the maximum four-years Shahzad could have been suspended for.
“Today’s announcement reinforces the ICC’s zero-tolerance approach to doping, and reminds all international cricketers that they remain personally responsible for ensuring that anything they eat, drink or put into their bodies does not result in an anti-doping rule violation,” ICC General Manager Geoff Allardice said in a press release on Thursday.
“It further serves as a reminder to all international cricketers of the dangers and risks associated with taking supplements. Before thinking about taking a supplement, cricketers should weigh up the risks and dangers of doing so and should fully research the supplement in question so they can make an informed decision” the statement from Allardice added.
Shahzad has been an integral part in the rapid rise of Afghanistan over the past few years which has seen them being awarded with a full ICC membership in July this year, hence making them eligible to play Test cricket.