Chandika Hathurusinghe, Bangladesh’s head coach, has denied rumours that he was approached by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) following Marvan Atapattu’s resignation as Sri Lanka’s head coach.
SLC appointed Jerome Jayaratne as interim coach for the national team following Atapattu’s resignation, and there were rumours that Hathurusinghe was in contention to take over on a full-time basis.
Bangladesh have had tremendous success in recent months under Hathurusinghe, winning three consecutive One-Day International series against Pakistan, India and South Africa. And while the 46-year-old Sri Lankan admitted that coaching his native country was “something anyone would like to do”, he insisted that he wasn’t thinking of anything but Bangladesh at the moment.
“No official contact has been made with me (by SLC),” he told reporters at a press conference in Mirpur on Thursday (September 10). “As a professional coach, whenever there’s an opportunity for a job, sometimes your name comes up. That’s all I have to say.
“Coaching your own country is something anyone would like to do, but it has to be at the right time. At this stage I’m very happy with what I’m doing. Not only the players or my staff, but even the board has been giving us a lot of support. And we have started doing well, so everything has fallen into place.”
Hathurusinghe’s contract with Bangladesh Cricket Board lasts till mid-2016, but the board has already hinted at having long-term plans with him.
“It gives confidence. If your boss is saying they are happy with me and have a plan, it gives me a lot of security. I am very thankful,” he said. “I’m very happy with where I am at this stage. Coaching Bangladesh and winning the next series is what’s most important to me.”
Speaking about Bangladesh’s upcoming two-Test series at home against Australia in October, Hathurusinghe said that the hosts would not be complacent despite the visitors expected to send a young and inexperienced side.
“Regardless of who will come, playing Australia is a big task for us,” he said. “But I’m really optimistic because these conditions are going to challenge them. And we are also improving as a team, so I’m optimistic that we can do something we have not done before against them.
“With that said, you can’t take Australia lightly. They have the best system when it comes to producing cricketers in the world. And recently their A team played really well in India so it’s going to be a challenge.”