Rumours were swirling around for some time that Chandika Hathurusingha will become Bangladesh national team’s coach once again. On Tuesday, a source at the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) confirmed that Hathurusingha will in fact become the next coach of the Tigers.
Hathurusingha will sign a two-year contract with the BCB. The Sri Lankan is expected to arrive in Bangladesh on 20 February.
Hathurusingha was working as the assistant coach of Australia’s New South Wales team. New South Wales confirmed the news of his departure on Tuesday.
Hathurusingha’s departure from New South Wales all but confirmed his return to Bangladesh.
Ironically, Hathurusingha had left his job at the same club before becoming Bangladesh’s coach for the first time. His first stint in Bangladesh began in May of 2014 and lasted almost three years. His departure did not happen under amicable circumstances.
He sent in his resignation letter from South Africa after Bangladesh’s tour to the country in 2017. He took that decision in order to become the head coach of the Sri Lankan national cricket team. The big pay cheque of the Sri Lanka job was also a contributing factor.
Hathrusingha’s tenure in Sri Lanka didn’t go smoothly. A little while after he took the job, the Sri Lanka sports minister began publicly questioning him for his huge salary. He also had skirmishes with board officials and players. After a lot of drama, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) decided to show him the door.
Hathurusingha got embroiled in controversies during his first stint as the Bangladesh coach as well. However, Bangladesh cricket also achieved a number of notable successes during his tenure.
Under his coaching, Bangladesh reached the quarterfinal of the ICC World Cup for the first time in 2015, won consecutive One-day International (ODI) series’ at home against Pakistan, India and South Africa the same year and also made it to the semifinal of the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy.
Bangladesh also achieved notable successes in Tests under Hathurusingha’s coaching. Bangladesh won Test matches against England and Australia at Mirpur and defeated Sri Lanka in Bangladesh’s 100th Test.
Hathurusingha has the reputation of being a ‘strict headmaster’. Even though Hathurusingha left the post last time in an unprofessional manner, the BCB has reappointed him mainly because of his strictness.
However, in terms of accomplishments, Hathurusingha’s first tenure as the Bangladesh coach can be termed a success. How will Hathurusingha fare as the coach of the new look Bangladesh team will be interesting to see.