Chandika Hathurusingha's first full assignment with Sri Lanka will be the tour to Bangladesh, where he will have just finished up as head coach.
Though Hathurusingha had handed his resignation to the Bangladesh Cricket Board as early as October, the boards had been in discussions with him, and indeed with each other, as to what a peaceable relocation of the coach might look like. But SLC has now confirmed that Hathurusingha will begin his three-year contract with Sri Lanka on December 20, just as their T20s against India start. A two Test tour of Bangladesh is set to begin in January.
An SLC official confirmed that Hathurusingha will be the highest-paid Sri Lanka coach in history. He is also due to visit Dhaka on Saturday, presumably in order to debrief and finalise his release from the BCB. He had signed on with Bangladesh until the 2019 World Cup, but eventually agreed to take a job with his home country, following several approaches from SLC. He had been Sri Lanka's A team coach, and an assistant coach with the national team, before his relationship with a previous SLC administration soured in 2010.
That SLC has secured Hathurusingha's services is both a victory for the board, as well as a substantial financial commitment. Sri Lanka have been without a long-term head coach since Graham Ford's resignation in June, and the board has struggled to attract high-quality applicants to the role. And in order to lure Hathurusingha, SLC has had to more or less match the figure he was being paid by the BCB - a sum in the vicinity of $340,000 (aspects of that pay package were also determined by team performance).
Hathurusingha's tenure with Bangladesh had been marked by progress both in the limited-overs formats and in Tests, where they achieved maiden victories against Australia, Sri Lanka and England. Sri Lanka, meanwhile, have had a difficult year across formats, and will now count on Hathurusingha to replicate the success he had had with his previous team. Highly-rated by virtually every Sri Lanka player who had worked with him in the past, the likes of Rangana Herath, Kumar Sangakkara, Angelo Mathews, and current Sri Lanka batting coach Thilan Samaraweera, have all credited Hathurusingha with having had a positive effect on their cricket.
He will be Sri Lanka's 11th head coach (including interim appointments) since 2011. The three-year contract should take him up to the end of 2020, so long as it is honoured by all parties.