Chandika Hathurusingha's return draws mixed reactions from Bangladesh cricket fraternity

Chandika Hathurusingha’s return draws mixed reactions from Bangladesh cricket fraternity

Chandika Hathurusinghaappointment as coach of Bangladesh drew various reactions from the country’s cricket fraternity. The new two-year deal will be Hathurusingha’s second stint in the role after spending three years, from 2014 to 2017, before abruptly leaving for the Sri Lankan role. According to BCB President Nazmul Hassan, he has now returned as an all-format coach which all but rules out S Sriram as the team’s T20I coach.

The BCB announced Hathurusingha as their new coach on Tuesday, four weeks after Russell Domingo resigned following suggestions from the board of directors that they were looking for a new coach. Hathurusingha had been on BCB’s wishlist for a long time, even after stepping down from his post in October 2017.

This, despite his successors Steve Rhodes (2018-19) and Domingo (2019-22) having a better winning percentage than Hathurusingha. Rhodes had a 51.11 winning percentage in 45 games while Domingo had a 42.34 winning percentage in all formats. Both had a much better ODI and T20I record than Hathurusingha, who had a better Test record, having won six of 21 games during his reign.

Many felt the BCB rushed to get rid of Rhodes after the 2019 World Cup, while Domingo quit after being placed in an untenable position due to board criticism of his coaching style . But the timing was questionable. Criticism followed the team’s 2-1 home ODI series win over India in December.

former captain Mashrafe Mortaza said how Hathurusingha quit his job in Bangladesh in 2017 left a bad taste in his mouth.

“Given the stature of our testing nation, this is definitely not a good example,” Mashrafe said. Prothom Hello. “Jamie Siddons was also brought back. They are two of the best coaches in terms of technical and tactical aspects that I have seen. Maybe that’s why the board thought it best to bring him back. There is also a training crisis, it is difficult to find coaches because there are so many franchise tournaments, BCB made the right decision in this regard.

“There would have been no problem if he [Hathurusingha] departed properly like Siddons, who wanted to stay on as the batting coach of Bangladesh. Hathurusingha left in the middle of his contract period. He did not pick up the phone of the chairman of our board of directors, nor answer his text message. He left suddenly. There is always the question of respect.”

Jalal Yunus, Chairman of Cricket Operations at BCB, said Hathurusingha will get to know the team culture and players of Bangladesh and has already been involved with the board for two years.

“We are happy,” Yunus told ESPNcricinfo. “He has worked here before, so he won’t need a lot of time to adapt here. He knows the players and the environment. He’s a good coach. He has the quality the players need. He has always shown interest in Bangladesh Cricket. I hope this time he will stay for a long time and fulfill the contract commitment. Judging from what he told us, we expect him worked with dedication during the two years.”

Mashrafe, captain of 69 of 102 matches during Hathurusingha’s first stint as Bangladesh coach, said the players’ reaction to Hathurusingha’s return to the dressing room was his main concern. Towards the second half of his tenure as Bangladesh coach, there were whispers about how he treated the players.

“A huge question mark remains over how the dressing room will take it,” Mashrafe said. “The most important thing is how comfortable he and the dressing room are with each other. Apart from two or four new faces, most of the players are the same. [from his first stint].

“We have to see if he forgets the past, or if he behaves like before and how the players react to these things. Hathurusingha is an international coach, so I’m sure he will know how to handle everything. The sooner that happens, the better.

Yunus said the criticism was unnecessary as the BCB were looking for a father figure as a coach. “Leading is not an appropriate term,” he said. “We need a coach who has to act like a keeper. Someone who can explain to the players and then get the best out of him. He has that quality.

“We have an important series coming up against England. It’s part of the ICC Super League. It’s mainly focused on the World Cup later this year. We have eight to nine months on our hands.”

Mashrafe said the two current captains Tamim Iqbal (ODI) and Shakib Al Hasan (Tests and T20I) know Hathurusingha well enough to work with him properly. But he said a lot depends on how the BCB handles Hathurusingha. In the past, he has had public run-ins with two chairmen of the BCB’s cricket operations committee and a former head coach. Farouque Ahmed.

“Shakib and Tamim will coordinate well with Hathurusingha,” Mashrafe said. “They generally have a good relationship with Hathurusingha, although there have been one or two incidents with Shakib. At the end of the day, he is the best player in the team. Hathurusingha also knows the culture of Bangladesh, so I think that he will come out of his end well.

“His influence will depend on the discussion between Papon [Nazmul Hassan] bay and Hathurusingha. I believe Hathurusingha will have a more powerful position this time. [Whether it will be good for Bangladesh cricket or not] depends on how much the board can control it.”

“From what I know of him, Hathurusingha wants to do everything on his own. But still, I hope he will work together [with everyone]”

Former head coach Farouque Ahmed

Two days before Hathurusingha is appointed as the next coach, the BCB director Khalid Mahmoud said he thought the meeting would come at the right time.

“It would be nice if Hathurusingha came,” said Mahmud, who had worked as a team leader during Hathurusingha’s first stint. “He has worked in Bangladesh before. There have been a lot of good performances during his time. He is more mature [now], which is good for the team. I think it’s a positive thing that he’s coming for the second time. He understands us well, because he is also from the subcontinent.”

Ahmed, who was head coach before falling out with Hathurusingha and resigning from the job in 2016, was a little skeptical, however.

“I think the BCB brought Chandika Hathurusingha back with a lot of high expectations in mind,” Ahmed said. Prothom Hello February 1. “But the board probably forgot how he left the job last time. Usually those who leave this way are not able to return anything good. Subconsciously, both parties remember previous incidents When the team won’t do well, the BCB will understand why we got him back. The coach can’t say anything boldly. He will also have his last outing in mind. If his outing was normal, there is no wouldn’t be questions about his return.

“I doubt the wisdom of this decision. The fact that the BCB brings him back after such a departure will reduce the responsibility of Hathurusingha. He will dictate to us. I think it is important to work together. From what I know from he, Hathurusingha wants to do everything by himself, but I still hope he will work together [with everyone].”

Hathurusingha is expected to arrive in Dhaka between February 18 and 20, a week before Bangladesh face England in a three-game ODI series from March 1.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s correspondent in Bangladesh. @isam84

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