The resignation of Shane Jurgensen had left Bangladesh cricket in a chaotic state. With a major international event like the World Cup on its plate, the departure of a head coach is a body blow for any cricket administration but the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) wasted little time in filling the vacuum by roping in former Sri Lanka Test batsman Chandika Hathurusingha.
In the current climate, especially with the lucrative coaching opportunities in the Indian Premier League (IPL), finding a suitable coach is not at all an easy task for a country like Bangladesh; the reason being the high salary packages demanded and the problem with the cultural adjustment of candidates from outside the sub-continent.
Taking this reality into consideration BCB's five-member search committee seemed to have negotiated with the right man within the shortest possible time. The name of Chandika Hathurusingha has not been near the top of the wish list for coaches, and Bangladesh have appointed coaches with much higher profiles in its history. It would be hard to find someone hoped for this name to take over from Jurgensen, so it might not be big news, but Bangladesh cricket has reason to hope as Hathurusingha has quietly garnered a reputation as a good mentor.
When a coach from the sub-continent establishes himself in a country like Australia and receives high praise for acumen from a cricketer like Kumar Sangakkara, he cannot surely be dismissed out of hand. There is no reason to be over-excited, but certainly some cause for hope.
To be successful, both Chandika Hathurusingha and the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) have to overcome the challenges ahead. The Sri Lankan must prove that he is good enough to handle a Test team. There is undoubtedly a gulf of difference between successfully running a state team, playing a role as a shadow coach or coaching an associate member, and guiding a Test nation. The pressure and expectations will be altogether different for the 45-year old. Therefore it is also a major opportunity for Hathurusingha to rise to new heights on the international coaching map.
Khaled Mahmud, the former national skipper who is one of the members of the search committee, has full faith on the new coach.
“We are really optimistic. He is hard-working and we believe he will be able to make an impact on our national team. We have little doubt about his ability as a coach because it's not easy for any Asian to establish himself in Australia. I have seen his work closely and his work ethic is fantastic,” praised Mahmud.
As important as this appointment however, is whether the BCB can create a truly professional atmosphere for a coach to implement his vision.
Only good management can bring out the best from employees. And in this regard the BCB's history is hardly encouraging.