Chandika Hathurusingha has been officially appointed as the Head Coach of the Sri Lanka national cricket team.
“Subsequent to successful discussions, and upon the unanimous approval of the Executive Committee on 6th December 2017, Chandika Hathurusingha will be appointed as the Head Coach of the Sri Lanka National Team” SLC said in a press communique.
He will assume duties from the 20th December and will be contracted till 2020. Hathurusinghe, who is largely considered one of the best coaches in the world, re-joins Sri Lanka Cricket after previous stints as Head Coach of the Sri Lanka ‘A’ Team (2006-2009) and shadow coach of the National Team (2009-2010).
In October, Hathurusingha forwarded his resignation to the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) to step down as the head coach of Bangladesh. Ironically, Hathurusingha’s first assignment as Sri Lanka head coach will be against Bangladesh early next year.
Under Hathurusingha, Bangladesh has made large strides in the past three years, entering the quarter-final of the 2015 World Cup and the semi-final of the 2017 Champions Trophy. They have also defeated India, Pakistan and South Africa in home bilateral ODI series. In the longer format of the game, Bangladesh registered their first-ever wins against England and Australia at home, and against Sri Lanka away this year.
SLC was headhunting for the head coach position since South African Graham Ford resigned from the post following the Champions Trophy exit in the UK. Nic Pothas, then fielding coach, was appointed as the interim head coach to overlook the national team. Pothas is set to work once again as the fielding coach after Hathurusingha takes over the role.
A steady opening batsman in his playing days, ‘Hathuru’ represented Sri Lanka in 26 Tests and was among one of the most experienced domestic cricketers, in possession of 10,861 first-class runs and 425 wickets.