Rumesh Ratnayake as Interim Head Coach for Hathurusinghe – SLC President

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –Observing that when coaches are hired and fail to produce the desired results hard decisions have to be taken favourable to Sri Lanka cricket, the President of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), Shammi Silva said yesterday that SLC had written to Chandika Hathurusinghe terminating his services as the head coach of the Sri Lanka cricket team. “We have given him two weeks to reply.”

Addressing the media at the joint media conference of the Sri Lanka versus New Zealand home cricket series at the Taj Samudra Hotel, the SLC President further said, “Now we are contacting our lawyers as his (Hathurusinghe’s) contract ends in 2020.”

Responding to media queries Silva added, “ Remember that Chandika Hathurusinghe was hired on media pressure and now it has been the same media pressurizing us to chase him. He had been more than one and a half years with SLC. I was also on the previous board when Chandika Hathurusinghe was recruited, and now we are correcting our mistakes.”

He announced that Rumesh Ratnayake would serve as the interim head coach. It was noteworthy that after three years the results were showing following the changes wrung in with Sri Lanka whitewashing Bangladesh.

The captains and managers of the two teams, sponsors DFCC Bank PLC and other VIPs were warmly welcomes by SLC Chief Executive, Ashley de Silva.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne, while extending a warm welcome to his New Zealand counterpart, Kane Williamson, praised the Kiwi cricketers for their world cup performance and exemplary behaviour, and said, “I believe your team truly deserved to be the world champions.”

While expressing optimism that Sri Lanka was oiled up to mount winning ways in the wake of the 3-nil ODI whitewash of Bangladesh, the Sri Lankan captain said, “I have enjoyed my test cricket which I value the most in cricket. From my long experience I know the way New Zealand bowls. In the last two months in England we played on bouncy wickets and here we will have to adjust to the low bounce.”

Karunaratne said that if Dinesh Chamndimal is included he will man the wicket-keeping chore as well. Lahiru Thirimanne and Oshada Fernando are likely to open the innings.”

New Zealand captain, Kane Wulliamson while thanking SLC for the warm welcome accorded, said, “We are looking forward to the test series after the tough world cup campaign which Sri Lanka too endured. The boys are happy at the opportunity to be here. The conditions have changed here over the years and the ball swings somewhat.”

On behalf of the sponsors of the series, Lakxshman Silva, Director/Chief Executive of DFCC Bank PLC, said, “It is the first time DFCC Bank has come forward as a title sponsor. We are also excited by New Zealand’s performance in the world cup and Sri Lanka’s one-day success against Bangladesh. As a responsible bank we have decided to sponsor this series and looking forward to an exciting tournament.”

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