Will Hathurusingha leave SL to grab Windies’ head-coach job?

On Thursday, 29 November, Sri Lanka national cricket team head coach Chandika Hathurusingha denied recent reports that he has applied for the West Indies Head Coach position.

The SLC, in a media communique, said on Friday: “There were few media reports published in the recent days, stating that Sri Lanka Cricket’s Head Coach Chandika Hathurusingha has applied for the position of  ‘Head Coach’ of the West Indies Cricket Board. However, Mr. Hathurusingha has informed SLC that he has not applied for such a position and will continue to remain with Sri Lanka Cricket.”

An India-based cricket website reported on 27 November 2018 that the high-profile coach, who joined Sri Lanka in December 2017 following a highly successful stint with the Bangladeshi national team, has been short-listed for the Windies job along with former West Indies fast bowler Courtney Walsh and Sussex player Chris Adams.

Hathurusingha (L) with Courtney Walsh

Currently Hathurusingha is in the middle of his two-year contract with SLC which will cover the forthcoming ICC World Cup, starting next May in England.

Former Windies players Roger Harper and Gus Logie have refused to take up the job, the said report also added.

Former Australian player Stuart Law parted ways with West Indies team after their recent tour of India. Presently, former Sri Lanka coach Nic Pothas is acting as an interim coach for the West Indies.

Following are extracts from the said web article:

Hathurusingha short listed for West Indies Head Coach Job

ChandikaHathurusingha, the high profile Coach of Sri Lanka national team, has been short listed for the top post of the West Indies team, Cricket Age reliably learns.

According to sources, Hathurusingha secretly applied for the post few weeks ago and the West Indies Cricket Board has already short listed him along with few other candidates.

“Yes, Mr. Hathurusingha has been short listed for the job along with Mr. Walsh and Mr. Adams. But it is too early to say anything, as we haven’t discussed things with him face to face. We are considering Walshy as well, but he has certain conditions,” a top official of West Indies Cricket Board told Cricket Age.

Currently, Hathurusingha is in the middle of his two years contract with SLC. However, his tenure so far has been marred with poor performance of the national team and off field controversies. Since taking over the team in December 2017, Hathurusingha has turned out a white elephant for Sri Lanka cricket. Despite enjoying 6 million salary per month, Sri Lanka slipped significantly in world cricket, with embarrassing defeats against lower ranked teams like Afghanistan and Bangladesh. Sri Lanka were knocked out from the Nidhahas Trophy at home and Asia Cup. Recently, Sri Lanka have lost all three series against England despite being the host.

However, more than poor showing of Sri Lanka team on field, it is the off field controversies surrounding Hathurusingha, that completely ruined his credentials. In Bangladesh he was just a coach, but in Sri Lanka, he took over everything under his control from a weakened and depleted SLC.

From the beginning, he sidelined every single domestic coach of Sri Lanka and filled national team with his close associates. Moreover, he became that much powerful that he also started to decide the airlines of the national team!

However, according to sources, there is a strong possibility that he will took over West Indies job, as its culture suits Hathurusingha.

Hathurusingha’s ‘stranded’ stay in West Indies

In June this year, Sri Lanka head coach Chandika Hathurasingha had a brief stay in West Indies. Sri Lanka Cricket Board (SLC) need to find out the real reason of his stay. Or SLC itself already knows it?

The incident happened after the conclusion of Sri Lanka’s West Indies tour, where they played three match test series. Even though Sri Lanka managed to draw the series 1-1, it had turned out a disastrous tour, largely due to ball tampering controversy during the second test.

After the conclusion of the series, Sri Lanka media was waiting for team’s arrival with barrage of questions. However, when team arrived, Hathurusingha was not with the squad. He was in West Indies. At that particular time itself, Cricket Age was the only one to publish the story of Hathurusingha’s mysterious stay in West Indies.

Now, five months later, when it has emerged that Hathurusingha has been short listed for West Indies head coach job (according to highly placed sources at West Indies Cricket Board), the incident that happened in June looks mysterious.

And it raises many questions as well! Is latest outcome connected to Hathurusingha’s stay in June? Is SLC telling the truth about Hathurusingha stay back then? Does SLC know the real facts? Did Hathurusingha stay there for his interview? How much money SLC spent on Hathurusingha’s stay back then? And if it is true, isn’t a betrayal to the country?


November 28, 2018

By N. Krishnamurthy