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SLC says Coach’s issue will be decided today

Sri Lankan Cricket is likely to make a complete revamp to their support staff after the Sports Minister called for the resignation of all the members of Sri Lankan coaching staff.

Chandika Hathurusingha’s tenure as Sri Lanka Cricket’s head coach was questioned at a press conference held last evening (24 July) in line with the Sri Lanka-Bangladesh ODI series where Hathurusingha claimed he was surprised to hear that he was to be replaced.

“It is news to me. I am just hearing of such a thing. All I can say is that I will have to wait and see and decide what to do,” said Hathurusingha.

When questioned, Secretary of Sri Lanka Cricket, Mohan De Silva, responded saying that the decision to replace the Head Coach was not a decision by SLC.

 “The Sports Minister announced told us about changing the coaches, which by authority, the minister can do. However, this is a sensitive issue. Tomorrow (25 July), we will be having our exco-meeting and we will make a decision. It is an unfortunate situation. Sri Lanka has a bad reputation for changing coaches from time to time. But, we can’t go against the minister’s decision.”

Currently, the staff is headed by Hathurusingha with Jon Lewis as the batting coach and Steve Rixon as the fielding coach.

Sri Lanka Cricket has had 11 coaches, including interim appointments between 2011 and 2017.

The announcement follows Sri Lanka’s failure in the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup, where the Lions failed to reach the top 4 for the first time since 1999 among poor performances from key players as well.

Meanwhile, famed fast-bowler Nuwan Kulasekara, announced his retirement from International Cricket yesterday.

The decision came amidst questions on whether or not Kulasekara would be returning to the squad.

Meanwhile Lasith Malinga just last week announced that he would be ending his ODI career, tomorrow (26 July) when Sri Lanka plays Bangladesh in game 1 of a 3 match series at the R. Premadasa stadium.

However, the slinga is expected to continue to play in the T20 format for Sri Lanka until the 2020 World T20 tournament.

Malinga and Kulasekara were both members of the 2014 T20 World Cup-winning squad in which Kulasekara led the Lions with the most wickets.

Kulasekara has 199 ODI wickets to his name in 184 matches, with an impressive economy rate of 4.90 and is the last Sri Lankan bowler to reach Number One in the ICC ODI Bowler Rankings.

Malinga, who made his ODI debut during the year 2004 has so far captured 335 wickets playing in 225 ODI games. He is the 3rd highest wicket-taker in World Cup history and the only player to claim 4 wickets in 4 balls in first-class cricket.

Expressing his views during a practice session at the R. Premadasa Stadium yesterday (24 July), the fast-bowler said that following a short stint in 2007, where Malinga was dropped from the squad, he had requested to end his career with a farewell game.

At the time, however, officials of Sri Lanka Cricket had declined his request citing that “no farewell games will be allowed”.

The R. Premadasa Stadium is sold out for the final match as the nation gathers for the farewell of one of Sri Lanka’s most iconic bowlers.

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