Sri Lanka news December 7, 2010

Former SL shadow coach Hathurusingha to emigrate to Australia


Chandika Hathurusingha, the former Sri Lanka Test opener and one-time shadow coach of the Sri Lanka team, who was suspended by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) on disciplinary grounds in June, has decided to emigrate to Australia with his family, after he was found guilty by an inquiry and expelled.

The decision to suspend Hathurusingha was taken after he had disobeyed orders from SLC chairman DS de Silva, in a telephone conversation, to not abandon the team and return home ahead of the one-day tri-series final in Harare, where Sri Lanka was scheduled to take on Zimbabwe.

However, at the inquiry held in connection with the incident, Hathurusingha stated that both team manager Anura Tennekoon and head coach Trevor Bayliss had permitted him to return early to take up a coaching study course in Australia.

"What I fail to understand is there was no official complaint by the manager and there was no official request for me to stay back with the team from SLC, until I left," Hathurusingha said. "I only had a verbal discussion with the chairman that's all. The decision taken by SLC to sack me came as a surprise. I never expected it because I still don't think I have done anything wrong," Hathurusingha, who is a Level 3 qualified coach in England and Australia, said.

"I had come back to Colombo to follow a study course in Australia which was approved and funded by SLC. I returned to Sri Lanka with the consent of the authority I was under at that time - the manager and the head coach, who both gave me permission. They had duly informed SLC and there was no official request from anyone for me to not return early.

"From the results you can see that my leaving early didn't affect the team because we won the final. The two coaches were there to handle the final and the one practice session. My work with the team was done prior to that. The coaching course was going to benefit not only me but SLC as well. The bond I had signed with SLC said that I had to work for three years which I was willing to do."

Sri Lanka beat Zimbabwe comprehensively by nine wickets to win the one-day tri-series, which also included India.

Hathurusingha was being groomed for the assistant coach's position in the national team when he was appointed shadow coach in 2009 as understudy to head coach Trevor Bayliss and assistant coach Stuart Law. Hathurusingha was appointed shadow coach at the same time Kumar Sangakkara was elevated to captain his country. He served in the capacity for one and half years (his contract was till the 2011 World Cup) before his sudden exit. During that period Hathurusingha played an integral part in the players' development. Although he was asked by Bayliss to look after the batting, plan for the opposition and formulate game plans, he also played a big role in the players' mental make-up which has made them become successful cricketers at international level.

Kumar Sangakkara, the Sri Lanka captain, also personally wrote to SLC requesting a lenient punishment for Hathurusingha considering his value to the team especially ahead of the World Cup.

Hathurusingha represented Sri Lanka first as an opening batsman and later, in the middle-order from 1991 to 1999, in 26 Tests and 35 ODIs. He was head coach of UAE for a year and also coached the Sri Lanka 'A' team before his appointment as shadow coach in the national side.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Ishara on December 8, 2010, 17:30 GMT

    I cant understand this decision by SLC. I think Haturusighe done wonderful job with finding new talent. I think Mathews , Mendis and even Upul Tharanga, and some other talents, first identify by him , to my knowledge. Like Ramanayake, I think he did wonderful job. Disappointing to see these things happenning.

  • Nuwan on December 8, 2010, 15:54 GMT

    This is stupid SLC, Hathurusinghe has been developing lot of youngsters and I personally know few. Just ahead of the World Cup why the hell they have to sack him?

    Stupid that's all I have to say. Who is incharge of SLC i don't even know who he is.

  • Dummy4 on December 8, 2010, 3:32 GMT

    This is ridiculous! Who are the losers at the end of the day? Is it so called Interim Committee chairman who has been screwing up everything right from the inception? Is the committee itself? Is it Chandike?

    No, It is Sri Lanka cricket who lose. This shows the pathetic state of affairs of SLC. Mr.Minister now it is over to you to save cricket from the monsters who have appeared to destruct the game.

  • Philip on December 7, 2010, 21:02 GMT

    Does anyone consider the psychological issues that follow these decisions? He was not the coach in charge and had the permission of the team manager too. Are we seeing a dictatorial regime in the making in SLC? The decision to play on untried pitches in the recent series thus losing that vital home advantage does raise serious questions. Sri Lanka's cricket has not been at heart for sure when this decision has been made. Of course we do not know the full facts and that we need to concede. Cricket the loser once again that is for sure. Sanga has said it all. Sanga knew the effect it would have on the squad and on team morale too. We have also lost the knowledge base which is so vital. Chandika has been with the Teams right through and has an indepth knowledge of the talent coming through. How can we afford to lose that? My mind boggles Philip Gnana, Surrey

  • Dummy4 on December 7, 2010, 13:45 GMT

    DEAR CHANDIKA ! You have given your best to the country to improve the image of cricket first as an fine opener then as a coach.whatmore SLC asking is not clear. You were planning to get higher level of coaching to serve to the country. now ...this is the luck of Australia, time has ripe to get a decision.If you migrate is a lost to the country but win to your career & the life style.We salute for your hard work & dedication given to the cricket.

  • Raymond on December 7, 2010, 12:47 GMT

    It is obvious the problem is the Chairman of SLC, DS deSilva and he ought to resign. His ego has just cost SL a good person and all the money spent on his training. UNACCEPTABLE.

  • Randika on December 7, 2010, 9:55 GMT

    Oh man... And I was so happy to see some local cricketers takign up coaching at the highest level finally. Hathurusinghe and ramanayake are amongst the best that we have! The defunct SLC committee should either quit en-masse or pull their socks up and follow Aravinda De Silva example if they want to serve Sri Lanka! Wish Chandika would become a very successful coach and one day return to the island when the present SLC top-brass have been shown the door

  • Hitesh on December 7, 2010, 8:28 GMT

    There seem a competition between SLC and PCB ...... who will do more stupidity ..... well as PCB was winning this battle SLC did this...... lets see whats the PCBs answer to this .......

  • Mausifan on December 7, 2010, 7:47 GMT

    At the end of the day all this has come up to the ego of one man that is the SLC chairman. SLC officials should take into account of the future of SL cricket and not about their personal gains and losses. It is high time that the newly appointed sports minister step in now and solve this issue. As Stormy 16 told the man left early for educational purpose which would in the end benefit SL Cricket.The only opportunity of a Sri Lankan groomed coach taking over Sri Lanka is down the drain now along with all the investment on him by SLC.

  • Ranga on December 7, 2010, 7:11 GMT

    @stormy16: Let me give you some advice your time...this is SLC we're talking about...They'll never grow.....

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