Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) is expected to terminate Chandika Hathurusinghe’s contract as head coach of the national team within the next 24 hours, sources told Ada Derana.
Hathurusinghe had been asked to step down from his role after the conclusion of the ODI series against Bangladesh. As par his contract, Hathurusinghe had wanted to continue until the end of next year.
Meanwhile the country’s Sports Minister told reporters today that he has informed SLC not to retain Hathurusinghe as head coach for the upcoming home series against New Zealand.
Harin Fernando stated that the SLC recently made a request to him to retain Hathurusinghe until the end of the New Zealand series. “I said that I have no issue with that, but how are we going to do the renegotiation (of his contract) which I had asked for?”
He said that his request was to cut Hathurusinghe’s pay from USD 40,000 to around USD 20,000 and then to provide incentives based on the team’s performance. “If that is how the players are paid, why can’t we do the same for the coach?” he inquired.
He said that the SLC had said they would notify him on the ‘exit plan’ within 24 hours, but they have not informed him as of yet.
The minister admitted that the SLC did in fact make a request to him in writing, but he denied ever agreeing to it.
“Therefore today I notified them not to retain him as head coach for the New Zealand series. But he can stay in Sri Lanka and during that period if he wants to renegotiate the contract or go to courts,” Fernando said.
He said that have to give everyone a target to achieve and that if the Sri Lankan team had performed well had performed well “anyone could dictate”.
Responding to a query, the minister emphasized that he never said to sack Hathurusinghe and that he only wanted the contract to be renegotiated.
“I said renegotiate. Stop the contract and renegotiate. Because i said everyone should get a performance based incentive,” he said.
Fernando added that if the coach was doing his job properly he would let him do his job. “I don’t do politics with him.”
Hathurusinghe took over the role of Sri Lankan head coach in December 2017 after resigning from the head coach role of Bangladesh national team.