Former Sri Lanka and Bangladesh head coach Chandika Hathurusingha has beaten a lengthy list of rivals to return to New South Wales as senior assistant and batting coach of the state side, having previously served as assistant coach between 2010 and 2014.
The likes of former Cricket Australia pathways coach Chris Rogers and former West Indies assistant Toby Radford are also believed to have applied for the role, but they fell short of Hathurusingha's deep and impressive CV, which will afford the NSW batsmen a broad education in handling different challenges in all conditions.
Hathurusingha's appointment is the first significant move by Greg Mail after he became the Blues' head of cricket in May, rounding out a coaching staff that also features Phil Jaques as head coach alongside pace bowling coach Andre Adams and spin bowling coach Anthony Clark.
It's not the first time that Cricket NSW has seen fit to rehire a former coach who departed temporarily for international duties. In 2013 the state brought back Trevor Bayliss as state coach after his successful stint as coach of Sri Lanka, only to see him exit once again in 2015 to take over as England coach ultimately guiding the side to the 2019 ODI World Cup.
Hathurusingha was a trusted lieutenant for Bayliss with both Sri Lanka and NSW, while he also played a key role in helping to rejuvenate the Sydney Thunder in the Big Bash League after its moribund start to the competition.
NSW had needed to find a new batting coach after the Englishman Michael Yardy returned home for family reasons halfway through a two-year deal he had signed in 2019, and Hathurusingha was back in Australia after a messy departure from his time as Sri Lanka coach, after the board stopped paying him in October 2019 but did not formally terminate his contract until early this year.
It had been a slow deterioration in the role, after Hathurusingha was deprived of selection responsibility on the tour of South Africa in early 2019, and then effectively removed from his coaching role midway through the World Cup in England while continuing to travel with the team. He had subsequently been linked with a possible return as coach of Bangladesh, before Russell Domingo was appointed late last year.
Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig