Monday, 20 August 2018

How Hathuru will be missed

Redwan Ahmed

The clouds of confusion over Chandika Hathurusingha’s resignation haven’t been cleared yet. If he finally disembarks, not completing his tenure till 2019 world cup, one of the most successful coaches to Bangladesh cricket history would be exactly following footprints of his predecessor. Hathuru filled in Shane Jergensen’ shoes in 2014 after Jergensen left in the same manner, just before the 2015 world cup. Being appointed as the ninth foreign coach appointed by BCB, Hathuru got a long list of challenges before him. However, many criticized his recruitment observing him to be inexperienced at that time. In fact, that was partly right. The Sri Lankan had no prior experience of heading a Test-playing side. However, the aspiring new head coach didn’t take long to prove his effectiveness. Releasing Mushfiqur Rahim from the burden of his duty as the captain in all three formats, He made Mashrafe Mortaza the new skipper for ODI and T20. The outcome was visible. The tigers whitewashed Zimbabwe in a home series, both in Tests and ODIs. The wind of change in on-field and off-field appearances of the team sent a clear message from him – “I’m a man with a plan.” Bangladesh played in the quarter final of the 2015 world cup, securing victory against England. They stormed away Pakistan 3-0in an ODI home series. Before that, Bangladesh had won against them just once, which was before Bangladesh’s ascension as a Test playing nation. The successes made Hathuru an invincible one in the nation’s cricket arena. He gained a heavy influence in decision-making that might be a reason many began to speculate his role behind many major happenings like the resignation of Naimur Rahman from Chairman of the Cricket Operations Committee at BCB. He was successful in creating a shadow selectors panel including himself. Farooq Ahmed, the then Chief selector, resigned alleging the shadow selectors’ panel technically overpowering the main body. Some of his decisions that he singlehandedly imposed left some of the senior crickers unhappy which they openly shared with the media. Despite dissatisfaction in those senior players, Hathuru will be well-missed by the youngsters. He tended to try new faces. He didn’t lose his faith in many of them despite repeated failure to perform. He literally waged a war to include Zubayer Hossain in 2015 world cup squad, who was a newbie then. In late 2016, He himself replaced that Zubayer with another fresher leg-spinner, Tanbir Haider, for New Zealand tour. He dropped Mahmudullah Riad, one of the most experienced players in the team, from Sri Lanka tour. High performing Test batsman Muminul Hoque was left out of the squad for home Test series against Australia that triggered wide uproar prompting BCB president Nazmul Hasan to call in Muminul later. Above all these mixed reactions over his resign, he has got his name imprinted with a number of magnificent achievements of Bangladesh cricket, most notably victory in the 100th Test match against Sri Lanka, besides the ones against South Africa and India in ODIs, against Australia Test series, reaching T20 Asia cup final.

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