Cricket
Mohammad Isam, ESPN 10d

'Hathurusingha's departure at this time will hurt us'

Cricket

Coach Chandika Hathurusingha's resignation has taken Bangladesh cricket by complete surprise. His letter of resignation became public knowledge only on Thursday, nearly four weeks after he had actually sent the letter to the BCB.

BCB director Khaled Mahmud, the former Bangladesh captain who had put forward Hathurusingha's name at the time of his appointment in 2014, said that even he was taken aback by the news. Mahmud's short trip to South Africa from October 12 to 16, it has been speculated, was an attempt by the BCB to pacify Hathurusingha soon after he had submitted his resignation letter, but Mahmud has denied such an attempt was made.

"It came as a surprise to me," Mahmud said. "I was in South Africa for five days. We didn't have any such conversations. It is now uncertain whether he will be here. I heard that he has resigned, but I don't know why. I have a great relationship working with him for the past two and a half years. But he didn't tell me anything.

"His phone was switched off last night. I think we will get in touch with him soon. He is a positive person. I am hoping we will find out what has happened, from him. Everything was going well despite our performance in the South Africa tour. We have an important series ahead of us - so his departure at this time will hurt us."

Faruque Ahmed, who resigned as chief selector in 2016 following the BCB's decision to change the selection policy, said that Hathurusingha's resignation wasn't a professional move, given that Bangladesh were planning towards the 2019 World Cup. "I didn't like the timing of his resignation," Faruque said. "Success, criticism and the media are all part of the deal. You will get appreciation when the team is doing well and, similarly, you will get criticism when you are not doing well.

"His handling of the resignation wasn't professional. His contract ran till the 2019 World Cup, so he should have informed the board of his intentions. His contract made him one of the highest-paid coaches in world cricket, and he had added authority too.

"Bangladesh had one bad series in the middle of considerable success. Someone with a strong personality like him wasn't expected to leave in this manner, when the team didn't have a good tour."

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