Bangladesh in Sri Lanka 2016-17 March 12, 2017

Hathurusingha wants to make Bangladesh what SL were in 1996

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Bangladesh have run impressive campaigns in the 2016 Asia Cup and the 2015 World Cup over the last two years © AFP

Coach Chandika Hathurusingha has said he would like to leave Bangladesh in the position Sri Lanka had been in 1996, and that he would happily work with Sri Lanka after his present contract ends in 2019.

The mid-1990s were effectively Sri Lanka's coming of age in international cricket. In addition to winning the 1996 World Cup, they also began to produce players who achieved world renown - such as Aravinda de Silva, Muttiah Muralitharan and Sanath Jayasuriya. Sri Lanka also soon established themselves in Test cricket, beating most oppositions who toured the island.

Bangladesh have recently made gains under Hathurusingha, winning a Test against England last year, and running impressive campaigns during 2016's Asia Cup and the 2015 World Cup. They also qualified for the 2017 Champions Trophy, having missed out in 2009 and 2013.

"In 2019, I want to bring the Bangladesh team to where Sri Lanka were in 1996," Hathurusingha told Divaina. "That's my target. Whatever happens, I'm not going to ask to stay with Bangladesh forever. I will also not resign. The only reason for leaving is if I'm not allowed to do what I want to do, but there's no such situation at present."

Hathurusingha was complimentary of his dealings with the BCB, saying he had "got everything he asked for", including a place on the selection committee and broad influence over the team's development. However, he suggested that he harboured hopes of working with Sri Lanka in future, having made himself available to them before he took the job with Bangladesh, as well.

"I will absolutely come [if SLC asks me to]," he said. "I am in this position today because of all the things I learned playing cricket in Sri Lanka. After I learned everything in Sri Lanka for about 20 years, I went to Australia and learned things there as well. But if Sri Lanka invites me at any time, I will happily come back to do something for the country."

Hathurusingha said Sri Lanka's school cricket system remained much stronger than that of Bangladesh, but was less impressed with Sri Lanka's senior cricket structure. He joined the chorus of former players lamenting the excessive number of teams in Sri Lanka's first-class cricket. Twenty-three first-class teams competed in the recently-concluded Premier League tournament, though nine of those sides played in the second tier league.

"If there are 22 or 23 first-class sides in Sri Lanka, then that's definitely not good," he said. "With the way that Sri Lanka is, I think there should be about 12 or 14 sides. But because school cricket is good here, players are still produced.

"In Bangladesh, there is a four-day tournament, a one-day tournament with about eight teams, and their BPL T20 tournament. Because of that, the good players become highlighted. In the last two years, I changed a lot of things in their club cricket, including their pitches."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • cricfan78482220 on March 14, 2017, 2:44 GMT

    Hathuru was just lucky that in his time of charge there were some excellent and talented players, otherwise tactics wise he is just average. Plus not experienced to coach a Top team. From an Indian

  • FutileToArgueWithMe on March 14, 2017, 2:30 GMT

    Bangladesh school cricket actually used to be really good. However, in the 90's there was not incentive for most of the better cricketers to continue playing and would generally pursue education instead. From what i can tell, the school cricket structure has been completely decimated in the last 10 years or so as the focus has shifted towards club cricket and T20's. I would say school cricket system in Bangladesh really need to be restructured so they can be nurtured from an even younger age. Educated cricketers will make for better cricketers.

  • kartik_uk on March 13, 2017, 14:50 GMT

    Now Bangla fans are crying here saying they need an Indian Coach LOL They will score 5000 runs in a innings with Kapil dev and they win any games haha. Poor people. Without Hathura They won't even get the little achievement they had now.

  • SL_Boy on March 13, 2017, 12:55 GMT

    Agree with Hathu we need a 12-14 super league, and also 4 day tournament for test preparation,

  • nipunasl on March 13, 2017, 12:09 GMT

    many people doesn't know that sri Lanka's school cricket matches started before the ashes ... royal Thomas 138th battle this year ... kingswood rajans 130th etc.... so , does bangladesh or Afghanistan have that structure to be like sri lanka in 1996.. sri lanka needs a good domestic structure after school cricket career

  • anver777 on March 13, 2017, 9:17 GMT

    SL should always welcome hard working "Hathuru" as we know what he has done for the development of BD cricket in recent past,.. no doubt he has lot to offer for SL cricket in future !!!

  • captainhansie on March 13, 2017, 8:38 GMT

    Bangladesh didn't even play for the draw against SL when they were facing a target of 450? Cricket nous zero. How many teams have made 450 chasing? Why then were the Bangladesh players in the frame of mind that they were going to make those runs? When Bangladesh manage to draw a 5 day test which isn't rain interrupted then they will have arrived. I don't think it has dawned on BD or their coach that a draw is in fact BETTER than a loss.

  • Indyopc on March 13, 2017, 8:32 GMT

    Ashfaque Tauhid the issue is not with the coach, its with the stupid mentality of the Banga players.They should be more responsible when they go to the middle. Also most of the Banga fans like flashy stuff and these things cannot be controlled in the middle even if you have the best coach in the world.Kumar Sanga used to consult Hathuru till the time he retired about his batting and see where he reached and your other banga players

  • Manik_mia on March 13, 2017, 8:21 GMT

    @NEWRICHHATER: BD population is not into cricket like the population in SL, IND and PAK. I have seen these South Asian countries. SL in late 70s already was fully committed to cricket. All colleges, Universities were producing cricket players since then. Same in India and Pakistan. BD does not have that structure. Colleges and Universities do not encourage students to play. Many universities do not even have play grounds. All they want is to produce doctors, engineers, accountants etc. Sports are not in their minds. So do not talk of population of 150 million. May be just 10% of the population is following the game. Whereas majority portion of the AUS population follows and personally support cricket. BD started getting financially solvent since this generation only. So you may see from next generation parents pushing their kids towards sports instead making them office/hospital workers.

  • newrichhater on March 13, 2017, 7:32 GMT

    There is no shortage of talent anywhere in this world. There is abundance of talent in any country whether it is cricket, soccer or whatever. That is how this world is created. The issue is that in highly competitive sports how do you convert the raw talent to discipline, patience, mental toughness and professionalism etc. so that you develop competitive advantage. That is what the Australians always have. A country of less than 20 million people can produce a better team than BD which has more than 100 million. BD will achieve excellence if it concentrates on developing competitive advantage.

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