Hathurusingha keep eyes on ‘Dollars’ as SLC shifts focus on New beginning

Written by N Krishnamurthy

After the World Cup debacle, the Sri Lanka Cricket Board (SLC) wants to shift it’s focus on repairing all the aspects, which are hindering islanders’s progress in the game! The board has four years to bring Sri Lanka Cricket back on track, once again! On the other hand, though, their head Coach Chandika Hathurusingha is still keeping an eye, and is more interested in securing his 6 million salary for another 16 months!

In their World Cup campaign, Sri Lanka won three, lost four matches, with two abandoned due to rain. They were knocked out from the first round and it was an unforgettable campaign! Survivors are busy in terming it a satisfying campaign! In reality, Sri Lanka’s performance in the mega event was more pathetic than even Bangladesh and Afghanistan. Both the neighbor countries, even though we’re behind Sri Lanka in points table, fought hard, gave some of the most remarkable moments of the tournament and scared big teams like India, Australia and Pakistan!

Sri Lanka’s performance, on the other hand, was all about some individuals performances. Few times, dynamic Kusal Perera sparked, another few times young Avishka Fernando stole the show. In between, old horses Lasith Malinga and Angelo Mathews proved their worth, by winning one or two games on their own.

But with individuals brilliance, one can win one or two matches, not the tournaments like World Cup! That’s where, Sri Lanka scored zero. As a team, they were far behind than even Bangladesh and Afghanistan!

Surely, the blame goes to Hathurusingha solely! He was the man in charge. For last two years, Sri Lanka prepared under his supervision. Right after his arrival, he identified and trusted on his own preferred players for the mega event – Niroshan Dickwella, Danushka Gunathilika, Thisara Perera, Kusal Mendis. While Dickwella and Gunathilika turned that much ordinary that couldn’t even secure their places for the World Cup, Thisara and Mendis played the world cup and proved that Hathurusingha’s vision for the World Cup was nothing but disaster!

Ideally, in this scenario, Hathurusingha must have taken the responsibility. He must have come forward and took the blame on himself.

Instead, he put blame on everyone else! Even before Sri Lanka’s last match against India, Hathurusingha was preparing for the post world cup strategies. He gave an interview to local media personals and put all blame on Sports Ministry (for distracting him by deliberately leaking his contract), SLC (for removing him as one of the selector), and selectors (for constantly changing and chopping players).

Those were typical Hathurusingha’s tactics. And it shows his mentality as well. Those, who knows Hathurusingha from close quarters, always says that he takes all the credit for good showing and put all the blames on others for poor performances. That’s why, after lacklustre world cup, he put all the blame on Sports Ministry, SLC and selectors collectively!

By doing this, he laid the platform for his upcoming announcement (indeed, it was an announcement rather than a statement, that too without consulting SLC) that he wants to stay as Sri Lanka’s coach till his contract ends!

As soon as he arrived Colombo, he clean bowled everyone by this announcement.

SLC, feeling pressure after ordinary showings in showpiece event, are focusing on damage control. Hiring of Dave Whatmore, ongoing talks with foreign coaches and a proposed domestic restructure, all are part of SLC game plan to start afresh! Even though due to pressure, but SLC has been forced to shift focus on rebuilding, new beginning!

Hathurusingha, however, is still focusing on his salary! He is still more concerned about those 6 millions!

In a ideal, professional world, Hathurusingha should have immediately decided to leave his job after world cup. As a Coach, when he could not offer anything to Sri Lanka cricket in the world cup, what’s the logic to stay for another 16 months? For just more dollars? What he will offer to Sri Lanka cricket in remaining 16 months?

It proves, where Hathurusingha’s priorities are! At a time, when SLC are shifting it’s focus on new beginning, Hathurusingha is still keeping an eye on dollars!

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N Krishnamurthy