New coach sees opportunity for struggling Sri Lanka

2017-12-20 17:02
Chandika Hathurusingha (Gallo Images)

Colombo - Chandika Hathurusingha said Wednesday he scents opportunity as the new head coach of Sri Lanka despite a string of humiliating defeats.

"It will not be pressure but an opportunity," the 49-year-old former Test batsman told reporters after being named to the post on December 8.

"I am proud to take this opportunity to coach my own country to maximise the potential that we see from outside."

Hathurusingha also said he would streamline the selection process which he believed could revive the sagging fortunes of the team.

Sri Lanka this year have turned in their worst performance since 1987. Out of a total of 29 ODIs they won only five while losing 23.

In Tests, they lost eight matches including a 3-0 pasting at home at the hands of world number one India.

During their continuing tour of India, Sri Lanka lost a three-match Test series 1-0 and the subsequent one-dayers 2-1.

On Wednesday they were playing the first of a three-match Twenty20 series with India.

They travel next to Bangladesh for a tri-series also involving Zimbabwe, followed by a two-Test rubber with the hosts.

Hathurusingha resigned as Bangladesh's coach in October after guiding the national team through their most successful period in his three years in charge, masterminding Test wins over England and Australia.

His contract with the Bangladesh Cricket Board was due to run until World Cup 2019 and made him one of the world's highest-paid cricket coaches on $40,000 a month.

The Sri Lanka post had been vacant since South African Graham Ford quit in June.

Nic Pothas, the fielding coach, was asked to fill the position in the interim.


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