Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) sacked their head coach Chandika Hathurusingha after the team's dismal performance at the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup. Hathurusingha was replaced by South African Mickey Arthur in December last year. It is now being reported that Hathurusingha has not taken well to his sacking and is demanding a heavy compensation from Sri Lankan cricket's apex body.
Hathurusingha has also been the coach of Bangladesh. Under him, the team performed brilliantly. It was under his coaching that the Bangladesh team qualified for both the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy and the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup.
Hathurusingha was appointed as the Sri Lankan head coach in 2017 but was not able to produce impressive results. During his sacking, the Sri Lankan board had spoken about this poor performance that they had observed over 2018 and the first half of 2019.
But was it entirely Hathurusingha's fault that the team was not performing well? Or was it the team that was not able to function well as a unit?
Hathurusingha has also coached the UAE and has worked with the Canadian team too. He has also been the assistant coach of New South Wales and later went on to coach the Sydney Thunder in the Big Bash League. Coming from such a vast coaching background, it is only understandable to explore the reasons for SL's World Cup failure to be beyond Hathurusingha's capabilities.
After the Sri Lankan cricket team failed to impress at the 2019 50-over World Cup, Hathurusingha faced flak from the cricket board and other experts. The Sri Lankan sports minister at the time - Harin Fernando - came out and called out Hathurusingha for underperforming and pocketing unreasonable wages.
Fernando even added that the board could have hired a foreign coach for half as much as they were paying Hathurusingha. According to The Sunday Island, Hathurusingha was contracted for a fee of USD 60,000 per month.
Hathurusingha is reported to have been seeking a million dollars. It would roughly amount to the wages of the 18 months which were remaining in his tenure. The sacked coach is now claiming that his image as a coach has suffered because of the sacking. He has proceeded to call it wrongful termination. He has laid forward a demand of five million US dollars.
This heavy sum is said to include the unpaid dues that the SLC owe Hathurusingha along with damages. It was also reported that the SLC was only willing to pay six months' worth of salary to Hathurusingha.