Hathurusingha Denies Tension with Senior Players
Chandika Hathurusingha had recently arrived in Mirpur and met with the Bangladesh cricket team as their new head coach. Now, the newly appointed head coach has put rumors about tensions between him and the senior players to rest.
According to reports, he denies any speculations of tension between him and the players in his first stint as Bangladesh coach.
"There's no tension with any of the players with me," Hathurusingha said. "I actually enjoy [rivalry]. It is one thing that I drilled into the players when I was coaching Bangladesh: to stand up to any opposition and play with a lot of passion. I was really proud inside the other dressing room how they played the Nidahas Trophy and the Asia Cup after that."
Reason Behind Speculations of Tension
Sources say that speculations of tensions between Chandika and the team came from a reported complaint from Hathurusingha to BCB president Nazmul Hassan.
The complaint happened during the head coach's first stint with the Bangladesh side in 2014 and was about Shakib Al Hasan's "serious misbehavior." Said misbehavior led to the player being banned for six months.
In addition to the complaint, Hathurusingha reportedly wanted Mahmudullah to be dropped during their Sri Lanka tour in 2017, and he allegedly exerted pressure on Mashrafe Mortaza to retire from T20Is that same year.
The reasons behind the rumors ended up being contradicted when senior players like Shakib and Mashrafe backed the decision to bring the Sri Lankan coach back.
Chandika's Discussion with the Press
When clearing the speculations of tensions between him and the Bangladesh team, Chandika also reassured that he had discussed things with the senior players.
"I don't think it is going to be a challenge. I have spoken to all the senior players. Everybody is focused on one thing: the team is No 1. Everyone wants the team to do well. Even in my last time, I didn't face challenges with any of the players," Hathurusingha told reporters in the press conference on Wednesday.
Hathurusingha also said that his biggest motivation to return was the challenge of coaching Bangladesh through their "transition period", starting from the 50-over World Cup scheduled in India later this year.
Chandika's reappointment happened in the first week of February. At the time, there were plenty of reactions to the announcement. Mostly, the reactions to his return were a mix of positive and speculative.
The new two-year deal will be Chandika's second stint in this position after he spent three years, from 2014 to 2017, as Bangladesh's head coach before leaving abruptly for the Sri Lanka role.
After the new head coach landed in Mirpur on Monday night and went for a meet and greet with the Bangladesh team at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.
When asked about Chandika's meeting with the players, Nurul Hasan Sohan remarked, “It’s been good, and he knows most of the players, so hoping for good things. I think technically, he is very good with plans, and I feel that he has already done his homework before arriving here."