With the introduction of younger players, Bangladesh Cricket has taken a massive turn, developing into a competitive unit over the last decade, especially under Chandika Hathurusinghe.
Despite losing the 1st Test against Sri Lanka, the side certainly showed intent in all departments of the game. They were occasionally competitive but not at their best by any means. The game was pushed to Day 5 but it was way too easy for Herath’s boys in the middle. However, the Galle wicket was perfect for batsman even on the final day of the Test.
“I thought the wicket is still pretty good to bat, it does not look like a day five wicket. We conceded a big lead, but I thought the bowlers did still a pretty okay job. It came down to how we batted on the final day and the first session was going to be crucial, but we unfortunately, lost wickets,” said Bangladesh skipper Mushfiqur Rahim at the post-match presentation.
Keeping this loss aside, Bangladesh has experienced similar encounters where they were close but not close enough to create an upset. Hathurusinghe may have had his work cut out but this area needs immediate focus and attention.
With the 2019 World Cup as his target, Hathurusinghe intends to take the Tigers to where the Sri Lankans were in year 1996.
“In 2019, I want to bring the Bangladesh team to where Sri Lanka were in 1996. That’s my target. Whatever happens, I’m not going to ask to stay with Bangladesh forever. I will also not resign. The only reason for leaving is if I’m not allowed to do what I want to do, but there’s no such situation at present,” said Hathurusinghe.
Well, it may sound impossible but Bangladesh certainly does possess the firepower to upset any opponent in the world. Mehedi Hasan and Mustafizuer Rahman are two world class cricketer’s capablae of turning any situation around with the ball. Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan’s experience creates the perfect balance within the young side.
Meanwhile, the Hathurusinghe effect has taken Bangladesh to the world cup quarter finals in 2015, the closest they’ve ever got.
Hathurusinghe was called-up as a replacement for the injured Dhammika Ranatunga in 1991. Making his debut as a cricketer against New Zealand, he grabbed the opportunity whole-heartedly to score useful runs in the course of the tour.
Regardless of the impressive start, Hathurusinghe’s career did not blossom as he was not selected to the first eleven despite being included in the 15-man squad that departed to England as defending champions. His short career came to an end as he was forced to announce his retirement from the game.
However, he continued to play domestic cricket in Sri Lanka.
After his retirement, Hathurusinghe was appointed as the head coach of the UAE, the coach of SL A, assistant to former head coach Trevor Bayliss, head coach of franchises (New South Wales and Sydney Thunder) before the Bangladesh role.
Nevertheless, he lately insisted that he’s open to serve his motherland if given the opportunity.
“I will absolutely come [if SLC asks me to]. I am in this position today because of all the things I learned playing cricket in Sri Lanka. After I learned everything in Sri Lanka for about 20 years, I went to Australia and learned things there as well. But if Sri Lanka invites me at any time, I will happily come back to do something for the country,” said Hathurusinghe.
“If there are 22 or 23 first-class sides in Sri Lanka, then that’s definitely not good. With the way that Sri Lanka is, I think there should be about 12 or 14 sides. But because school cricket is good here, players are still produced,” he added.
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