Captain cold-shouldered as cricket chief passes the buck | Sunday Observer

Captain cold-shouldered as cricket chief passes the buck

New Zealand cricket captain Kane Williamson (left) and his Sri Lankan counterpart Dimuth Karunaratne greet each other at the launch of their Test and T20 series (Pic by Rukmal Gamage)
New Zealand cricket captain Kane Williamson (left) and his Sri Lankan counterpart Dimuth Karunaratne greet each other at the launch of their Test and T20 series (Pic by Rukmal Gamage)

Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunanratne found himself thrown into the deep end ahead of the New Zealand series not knowing what to expect to keep his team a float following the inevitable ouster of their cornered coach Chandika Hathurusinha.

The soft-spoken Karunaratne was lost for words and had to turn to his big boss, Sri Lanka Cricket president Shammi Silva, to know who his team’s coach would be with only days left before the start of the two-Test series against New Zealand in Galle on Wednesday.

But Silva had to correct his own self when he first dropped the name of Champaka Ramanayake as coach and later declared that the former square arm fast bowler Rumesh Ratnayake will be Sri Lanka’s interim coach for the New Zealand series.

Ratnayake was not present at the launch of the series probably marking the first time that the host country could not showcase a coach.

Silva could also not hide the fact that Sri Lanka had gone overboard as Hathurusinha’s presence was reported to have cost them Rs.7.5 million a month to keep him in the job that took the team nowhere near the expectations of the island’s adoring followers.

“We can’t safeguard coaches and let the team fall,” said Silva. “If coaches are not doing their job then we have to deal with them.”

But Silva also found it his business to castigate the Media by passing the buck saying Sri Lanka Cricket had fallen for a popular outcry to enlist Hathurusinha.

“It was the Media that told us to take in Hathurusinha and now the Media tells us they want Hathurusinha out. But we can’t listen to the Media. We go by performances,” said Silva while at the same time revealing he cannot disclose everything that was discussed in the boardroom.

Contrary to Silva’s charges, it was Hathurusinha who saw a fertile ground in Sri Lanka and cashed in after his market value had shot up almost overnight after he raised the profile of the Bangladesh team.

Now reduced to the status of an outcast after he was granted absolute authority and power at his recruitment in December 2017, Hathurusinha will be keeping Sri Lanka Cricket’s caretakers on edge for the next two weeks while he replies to a “show cause” letter terminating his services.

“It is now a legal matter and we’ll have to wait and see,” said Silva. 

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