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Hathurusingha enjoying stint as acting NSW coach

Sa'adi Thawfeeq

December 24, 2012

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The New South Wales team celebrates their heart-stopping Super Over victory, New South Wales v Trinidad & Tobago, Champions League Twenty20, Chennai, September 28, 2011
Many of New South Wales' players have represented Australia © Associated Press
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Players/Officials: Chandika Hathurusingha
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Former Sri Lanka batsman Chandika Hathurusingha, who played 26 Tests and 35 ODIs, is pleased to be fulfilling his new role as the acting head coach of the Australian state side New South Wales (NSW).

"It came as a surprise, but it was recognition of my contribution to the NSW team since I became their assistant coach in September last year," Hathurusingha said. He took over for the rest of the current Australian season following the sacking of Anthony Stuart, who had been coach of the state since May 2011.

"It was not the ideal situation for me because I cannot do things my way as it is in the middle of the season, but nevertheless I am honoured," he said.

NSW is the among the most successful domestic cricket teams in Australia, with a rich history of many players having represented the national team. The present side includes Australia captain Michael Clarke, his deputy Shane Watson, David Warner, Mitchell Starc, Brad Haddin, Doug Bollinger, Trent Copeland, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins, Moises Henriques, Steve Smith and state captain Stephen O'Keefe - all of whom have represented Australia at some point in their careers.

"It is a matter of prestige for a Sri Lankan to be coaching such a side. I enjoy working with them," Hathurusingha said.

Hathurusingha, whose CV includes being coach of Canada and the UAE, had at one point been thought of as a replacement for former head coach Trevor Bayliss, but he doesn't mind his current position.

"I was technical advisor to the NSW team (Sydney Sixes) during the Champions League in South Africa and when Trevor Bayliss went over to Kolkata Knight Riders, I more or less took over his position and we went on to become champions," Hathurusingha said. "Even if I don't get the job as head coach I am not worried. I am quite happy with my current position as assistant coach."

He said his chances of becoming the permanent head coach of NSW depended on the team's performances this season. They are already out of the Ryobi one-day competition and are currently lying fourth in the Sheffield Shield table.

"Many of our players are called up to play for Australia and this has affected our team performances," he said. "My job is to help them achieve their goal of playing for Australia and also to develop players from the state to go and represent the country. I am not only helping the [batsmen] but even the bowlers. The feedback from them has been very encouraging. All of them are aspiring to play for Australia and I am delighted to be of help.

"These players know how to take care of themselves individually. They are independent and once they are told something they go ahead and do it. That comes from their culture. In Sri Lanka, some of the players need to be pushed."

Hathurusingha was sacked by the previous Sri Lanka Cricket administration under DS de Silva as he had not obeyed the chairman's orders not to return early from a tour of Zimbabwe to follow a coaching course in Australia in 2011. He left for Australia with his family and took on the job as assistant coach of NSW.

"My sacking turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I was disappointed the way I was asked to go. I would have loved to have coached my country but unfortunately the administrators at that time did not see it that way."

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Posted by   on (December 25, 2012, 22:42 GMT)

It is a great slap for SLC . at least now Hathurusinghe should be eligible to be the head coach of Sri Lanka is he is a Australian county coach .all the best chandika. I remember the day you were selected to play school under 19 team when representing Ananda division 2. such a cool guy . so dedicated .we need you here in sri lanka soon. there are people born to coach like you. do it We know how vigilant are you in the ground when a game goes..

Posted by   on (December 25, 2012, 21:37 GMT)

Congratulations Chandika ayiya and allthe best.Your journy just started and long way to go.I hope srilankan cricket board will open their eyes now and realise whata dummy decesion they made.I beleive you will be australian coach one day.

Posted by sameeratharanga on (December 24, 2012, 13:23 GMT)

SLC its time to get our former cricketers support to country. SLC are treating very badly to former cricketers. see how they treat Gurusinghe, Pubudu dasanayake, Kaluwitharana & Vass.As result of it. Sri lanka lost their support to county. rather than hiring out side unpopular coaches give a chance to former Sri lankan players to prove their self as a coach.

This is really disappointing for SL as a nation.

My congrats to Chandika hathurusinghe....

Posted by Sinhaya on (December 24, 2012, 9:23 GMT)

Congratulations Chandika Hathurusingha and all the best! Hope you can help NSW excel at state level and hope you become the coach of Australia once Mickey Arthur steps down.

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