19 May, 2022


Sweeping Changes Likely To Sri Lankan Cricket Team Before South African Tour: Hathurusinghe, Chandimal And Several Others To Be Sacked

The Sri Lankan Cricket team, which suffered a spate of humiliating losses in the recent past, is expected to undergo a major overhaul before the South African tournament starting next week.


Sri Lanka’s Head Coach Chandika Hathurusinghe, Captain Dinesh Chandimal and several other players are likely to be sacked before the South African tour, sources close to Sports Minister Harin Fernando said.

Hathurusinghe was hired for an annual salary of Rs 90 million in January 2018 on a three-year contract at the start of 2018. Sports Minister Fernando has ordered Sri Lanka Cricket to seek the Attorney General’s Advice on terminating Hathurusinghe’s contract prematurely in view of Sri Lanka’s poor performance in international cricket.

Several senior players, including Chandimal, will be given a “break” from international cricket allowing them to regain form and reinvent their places in the national team. Several players from Sri Lankan ‘A’ team, who performed well during the recent series against Ireland ‘A’, will be fast-tracked into the team.

Dimuth Karunaratne, the only Sri Lankan player to secure a slot in the ICC world Test team for 2018, is likely to be made the captain of the Test team.

“The national team is grappling with several issues including internal rifts, divisions and increasing politicization. Players have formed several cliques in the team and they often don’t see eye to eye with others,” informed cricket sources told Colombo Telegraph.

Several Sri Lankan players have also come under scrutiny from the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Anti-Corruption Unit over match-fixing allegations. The Unit has set up a permanent office in Colombo and is currently working on multiple investigations involving several national players.

Sports Minister Harin Fernando flew to Australia last week to resolve the issues within the team. In addition to meeting senior players on a one-on-one basis, he also hosted a dinner for the entire and team and support staff on Sunday night, mainly to “break the ice”.

“We have already given up the 2019 ICC World Cup. It is unrealistic to believe that we will be able to enter the knockout stages of the tournament. Under the current circumstances, there is no point in waiting for the end of the ICC World Cup to usher in sweeping changes. Sri Lanka cricket is similar to a patient struggling with terminal cancer. Treatments must be given as soon as possible — the sooner the better,” our spokesman said.

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Latest comments

  • 0

    The overall morale of the national team is low. Over-politicisation has brought with it internal rifts, formation of cliques etc. Just what match fixers look for.
    Instead of prosecuting the match fixers, Harin is taking the easy way out – getting involved in team selection.
    One hopes the Harin’s team performs in South Africa.
    If they do not, then Harin must bear the responsibility.

  • 3

    We have now learned that Chandimal has been axed from the Test team, as was envisaged in this article yesterday. A sacking is never pleasant to witness, and Chandimal’s problems may have been due in part to him being ‘mucked around’ by the powers that be. That said, however, he has failed as a player and the captain and, sadly, had to pay the price. We don’t know details of Hathurusinghe’s contract but one imagines his rewards are linked to team performance. If so, the same yardstick used with Chandimal – failure to perform satisfactorily in the job – should apply to him also. Apart from a generous pay package, Hathurusinghe has had the services of an army of support staff. So, he’s got much to account for. The article only referred to an overhaul of the team. But, surely, you cannot limit that to only the team and the Head Coach. What about the batting, bowling and fielding coaches? In the Tests against Australia not one SL player scored a century. The bowling was such that Australia was able to declare at 534 for 5 and the fielding was just as bad. Not one of the three Australians who scored centuries in the first innings at Canberra will have got to a hundred if the catches had been taken. Burns was dropped on 23, Head on 87 and Patterson on 0!. So, these coaches may also have a case to answer. Shane Warne said famously that, as far as he was concerned, the job of the coach is only to transport the team from the team hotel to the grounds and back. This may have been said partly in jest but it does make one question what the real value of a coach is. Is the importance of the role exaggerated?

    • 0


      i agree with you.catches make matches.The fielding was atrocious.I wonder what the fielding coach is being paid for.he should have given rigorous catching practices and informed the selectors the names of the players who have not passed the standard required to play test cricket.I can still remember as a wicket keeper dropping an opening batsman on 0 and he went on to score a hundred.They gave me a new pair of gloves not seasoned and the ball just popped out.Hard to sit with the guys for a drink after that.As for chandimal he is swollen headed.However much he was told to go 3 down or so ,he insisted on going one down.Let him stew a bit.

  • 1

    For goodness sake do not sack Chandimal. Keep him.

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