Thilanga Sumathipala, the SLC president, wrote to his Bangladesh counterpart, Nazmul Hassan, expressing a desire to hire Chandika Hathurusingha.© AFP

Thilanga Sumathipala, the SLC president, wrote to his Bangladesh counterpart, Nazmul Hassan, expressing a desire to hire Chandika Hathurusingha.© AFP

Sri Lanka Cricket on Wednesday (November 22) announced it was in talks to hire Chandika Hathurusingha, the Bangladesh head coach till recently, subject to him securing a full release from his current contractual obligations.

Thilanga Sumathipala, the SLC president, wrote to his Bangladesh counterpart, Nazmul Hassan, expressing a desire to hire Hathurusingha.

SLC said it would offer Hathurusingha, the 49-year-old former Sri Lankan opening batsman, the position of head coach “subject to the full release of his contractual obligations” with the Bangladesh Cricket Board.

“There is no doubt that Hathuru (Hathurusingha) would be a great fit for us with the direction of both our short and long term goals,” Sumathipala said in a statement. “I have written personally to the BCB informing him of our intention (to hire Hathurusingha).”

Sri Lanka wants him to groom the national team for the 2019 cricket World Cup, according to official sources.

Hathurusingha had said earlier this month that he was stepping down from the Bangladesh team after a disastrous tour of South Africa, where the visitors lost both Tests and all three One-Day Internationals and two Twenty20 Internationals by hefty margins.

However, there was no word from the Bangladesh board if they had agreed for him to prematurely end his contract and join the team of his native Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka’s head coach post has been vacant since Graham Ford quit in June.

Under Hathurusingha, Bangladesh made rapid strides in world cricket, reaching the semifinals of the Champions Trophy 2017 in the United Kingdom earlier this year. The team has also registered Test wins over England and Australia at home and Sri Lanka away in recent months.

Hathurusingha’s contract with the Bangladesh Cricket Board was supposed to run until the 2019 World Cup but he opted out after the tour of South Africa, where Bangladesh’s abject surrenders came in for scathing criticism in the media back home.

Hathurusingha played 26 Tests and 35 ODIs for Sri Lanka before becoming the assistant coach under Trevor Bayliss, a job he lost in 2010. He went on to be appointed coach for New South Wales, before landing the more lucrative Bangladesh job in May 2014.