Exclusive! Is Sri Lanka Head Coach Chandika Hathurusingha No More A Buddhist?

Written by N Krishnamurthy

Cricket Age Exclusive :

Ever since his arrival in Sri Lanka as national Team head coach, Chandika Hathurusingha has become the most powerful and manipulative at the Sri Lanka Cricket Board (SLC). Especially, after the shameful departure of Thilanga Sumathipala led administration on May 31st, he has extended his control over several other non cricketing expects as well, like in which airlines Sri Lanka team should travel!

SLC too, in a bid to hide its incompetent and wrongdoings, gave Hathurusingha all the authority! Though, Sri Lanka Cricket is still in shambles.

After Asia Cup debacle, where Sri Lanka embarrassingly lost to Bangladesh and Afghanistan and knocked out of the tournament without playing against India or Pakistan, Cricket fans are blaming Hathurusingha for this. However, Angelo Mathews, as he said in his resignation letter, has been made scapegoat and is removed as shorter formats captain as well as from the ODI team.

However, now a new secret has been revealed about Hathurusingha and this one is certainly most shocking!

Hathurusingha comes from Nugegoda Jambugasmulla in Colombo. After his initial days at Veluvana Maha Vidyalaya, he joined Colombo’s leading Buddhist school Ananda College. All those years, when he represented Sri Lanka and even when he became the shadow coach of the national team, Hathurusingha was a Buddhist!

However, now as he has returned to Sri Lanka again after a hiccup of six years, when he was in Australia and was the coach of Bangladesh, it has emerged that he is no more a Buddhist! He has converted into a Christian and frequently goes to a church just nearby Colombo!

This is, though, his personal life! As a human being, it’s his fundamental right to follow any religion and worship anyone! However, the issue is that, as he is no more a Buddhist now, it is effecting Sri Lanka cricket team culture!

Right from the beginning, Sri Lanka cricket team used to take blessings of Buddhist monks at SLC headquarter before leaving for any overseas tour. Not only the national team, Emerging and U19 teams also follows the spiritual blessings ceremony.

According to sources, Hathurusingha, along with his fast bowling coach Romesh Rathnayake, don’t participate in the blessings ceremony with the team.

“Now, he is a Born again christian belongs to a charismatic church not recognized by the catholic church in Sri Lanka” a SLC insider told Cricket Age.

Sri Lanka team had many non Buddhist, foreigner head coaches in the past, like Trever Bayliss, Graham Ford. But, they had always respected Sri Lanka’s Buddhist culture and happily participated in the blessing ceremonies and other religious activities of the team or board.

“In this scenario, it’s very surprising and sad that even after being a Sri Lanka born and originally being a Buddhist, he is now not taking part in our traditional religious things” the SLC insider added further.

After national team hit all time low under his wings in last ten months, there are speculations and allegations that whether Hathurasingha is really committed to overhaul of Sri Lanka cricket or he is just interested in his 5.4 million salary. Now, this particular revelation has raised more questions against Hathurusingha!



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N Krishnamurthy