National cricket team’s Sri Lankan head coach Chandika Hathurusinghe submitted his resignation, Bangladesh Cricket Board officials confirmed on Thursday, amid reports of his taking the charge of Sri Lankan national team.
BCB president Nazmul Hasan told reporters in Dhaka that they received Hathurusinghe’s resignation in October during national team’s recent tour of South Africa but they did not get a chance to discuss the issue with him so far.
‘As far as I remember, he submitted a letter in early October. It was most probably after the second Test [in South Africa]... He did not give any reason. So it was difficult to say the reason until we had discussed the matter with him,’ Nazmul told reporters.
‘He is a professional coach, we will deal it professionally. We won’t force him to stay but will ask him about the reason,’ said Nazmul, adding that they were aware of his offer from Sri Lanka more than a year ago.
‘He received the offer more than a year ago. Honourable president of Sri Lanka specially gave him the offer. He had many offers around the world. Maybe he had considered any of those offers. But until he talked to us, it was really difficult for us to know the reason,’ he said.
Nazmul, however, believed that he recent criticism of the coach during the South Africa series could be one of one of the reasons for his abrupt resignation.
‘Personally I think if I was in his place I would have thought in the same way. He took coaching as his profession. The many criticism he faces in Bangladesh it does not happen in any other country, so why he would accept it? Why he would spoil his career,’ said Nazmul.
Hathurusinghe bore the brunt of criticisms for Bangladesh’s failures in South Africa where they failed to register a single win in any format.
His authoritarian behaviour sometimes left team’s captain in a hapless situation, leading into a chaos.
It was evident during the Test series when skipper Mushfiqur Rahim publicly criticised the role of so-called team management that he said did not allow captain to decide his own fielding position.
Things turned so ugly that the BCB had to send a special emissary to South Africa to restore the team harmony. During the entire tour, one of the worst in Bangladesh’s history, Hathurusinghe carefully distanced himself from the media only inviting more criticisms for himself.
The development coincided with his fresh offer from Sri Lanka, who were without a permanent coach since the departure of South African Graham Ford, who stepped down in late June, half way through a 45-month contract and just two weeks after the team’s early exit from the Champions Trophy.
Sri Lanka immediately forwarded an offer to Hathurusinghe but the talks did not take any progress as Bangladesh had two important series coming against Australia and South Africa.
But Sri Lankan newspaper Ceylon Today on Thursday reported that Hathurusinghe is now on the verge of signing up with Sri Lanka Cricket as their head coach.
Quoting sources, the newspaper said that after negotiations an agreement has been reached with Hathurusinghe regarding his remuneration package.
Hathurusinghe, who took over from Australian Shane Jurgensen in 2014, has a contract with the BCB until World Cup 2019. If he unilaterally scraps the deal now and accepts the Sri Lankan offer, his first assignment could be against Bangladesh in December, ironically.
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