USA head coach Pubudu Dassanayake has abruptly resigned after just under three years in the role following a breakdown in his relationship with the USA Cricket board.
Kiran More, the former India wicketkeeper, was brought on as director of cricket in June, alongside former West Indies batsman Kieran Powell as high performance manager, to oversee the operation. They will be assisted in the interim by Pravin Amre, the former India Under-19 coach, former India spinner and recent Bangladesh spin coach Sunil Joshi, the Mumbai Indians fielding coach James Pamment and David Saker, the former Australia assistant coach.
Dassanayake had taken USA from World Cricket League Division Four in November 2016 to ODI status in April after USA secured a top-four finish at WCL Division Two in Namibia. However, ESPNcricinfo sources said that Dassanayake's relationship with the board became increasingly strained over the last year, in spite of USA's on-field success, due to his increasing influence over national team selection matters. The relationship continued to go south after the recent licensing agreement was signed between Willow TV and Times of India Group to form American Cricket Enterprises (ACE).
At a USA national team camp held in Los Angeles in June, More and 29-year-old Powell - who earlier this week was dropped from Cricket West Indies central contracts list for 2019-20 - were introduced and the pair of hires are being backed by ACE with board members split on Dassanayake's role. Dassanayake was understood to have been informed by More at the camp that all selection decisions going forward would have to go through More whereas previously Dassanayake had a heavy say in selection matters along with USA Cricket selection chairman Ricardo Powell.
A USA T20 World Cup qualifying squad was supposed to be announced shortly after the selection camp ended in June, but the announcement has been delayed by disagreements over selection between More and Dassanayake, according to sources. Dassanayake flew to England with USA Cricket administrator Wade Edwards to sit with ICC COO Iain Higgins this week in an attempt to mediate the selection issues. Higgins is due to be announced as USA Cricket chief executive at the conclusion of the World Cup.
But the issues could not be smoothed over. Dassanayake's contract, which had originally been due to end in March 2019, was extended through December 2019 to cover USA's tour of Namibia in April - where he helped lead them to ODI status - as well as keep him in charge through the T20 World Cup Qualifier in the UAE this October. However, once the ACE licensing deal was announced in May, he was not expected to be offered an extension beyond the end of 2019 even though he had just led USA to ODI status. His support within the board had waned in the last year while ACE management had expressed a desire to hire their own leadership to guide the national team.
More is now expected to have a major influence in USA national team affairs going forward. According to sources, meetings had already begun last week to find a replacement for Dassanayake in anticipation of his resignation with Joshi a prime candidate for the full-time role.