Sri Lanka coach Chandika Hathurusingha axed from selection panel
In a bold step, Sri Lanka Cricket has removed coach Chandika Hathurusingha from the selection panel, ahead of the second Test against Australia. After suffering a home series loss to England and then being belted by New Zealand, the Lankans were already under immense pressure. And now the decision comes post the side's humiliating defeat in the first Test against Aussies. Here is more.
Sri Lanka Cricket confirmed the decision ahead of the Canberra Test starting on Friday. Sri Lanka had lost the first Test by an innings and 40 runs held in Brisbane. "Team selection while the team is on tour shall be made by a committee comprising of team manager and captain in consultation with the national selection committee," the statement read.
"This decision was taken under the instructions of the Ministry of Sports in consideration of the need to form an effective and transparent selection mechanism whilst the team is on tour," the statement added.
Hathurusingha had asked the board to make him a full-fledged selector, citing that he enjoyed the same power while coaching Bangladesh previously. He was appointed the head coach of Lankan team in December 2017. Hathurusingha was given the role of selector-on-tour, after a compromise was reached. Notably, SLC had earlier conveyed that the nation's law prevents a head coach to function as team selector.
Lankan cricket has been riddled with controversies on and off the field over the last 12 months. The ICC is running an investigation in relation to widespread corruption in cricket. Legend Sanath Jayasuriya was charged by the ICC in October 2018 for refusing to co-operate with the anti-corruption unit. Former cricketer Nuwan Zoysa was also suspended last year by SLC over match-fixing allegations.