Sri Lanka appoint interim coach for New Zealand series with Hathurusingha's future in the balance

Sport360 staff 17:52 08/08/2019
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Hathurusingha (l) is being pushed out of his role with Sri Lanka.

Sri Lankan cricket was thrown into further turmoil with former pacer Rumesh Ratnayake appointed as the team’s interim coach for the upcoming Test and T20 clashes against New Zealand.

The move by the Sri Lankan board is their latest attempt to severe ties with head coach Chandika Hathurinsha whose future with the national team has been the subject of constant debate for some time now.

“Hathurusingha will not be involved in this (New Zealand) series,” Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) chairman Shammi Silva was quoted as saying by the Hindu.

“We can’t tell you details because this might end up being a legal issue,” he added.

Earlier this month, Sri Lanka Sports Minister Harin Fernando had handed an ultimatum to Hathurusingha to quit his role before the start of the Test series against New Zealand.

“If Hathurusingha does not leave, we may have to consider legal action or offer him a different job at the board,” Fernando had said at the time.

The Sri Lankan minister’s comments had come in the wake of the 2019 World Cup in England where Dimuth Karunaratne and his men finished sixth in the 10-team competition.

Hathurusingha’s contract with SLC reportedly runs until the end of 2020 (16 more months) but Fernando has repeatedly targeted the head coach for the lack of positive results with the Sri Lankan team. The minister has time and again been critical of the Sri Lankan coach’s reported monthly salary of USD 40,000 as well.

Sri Lanka’s Test series against New Zealand is slated to begin on August 14 with the first clash set to take place at Galle. The second Test will get underway at Colombo on August 22.

Upon the completion of the two-match Test series, Sri Lanka and New Zealand will lock horns in three T20 clashes as well.

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