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Bangladesh coach Chandika Hathurusingha vows to change fortunes

Chandika Hathurusingha's first assignment is a three-match ODI series against India © Getty Images
Chandika Hathurusingha’s first assignment is a three-match ODI series against India © Getty Images

Dhaka: Jun 11, 2014

New Bangladesh coach Chandika Hathurusingha said on Tuesday he wanted to turn international cricket’s whipping boys into match-winners at home and abroad as he took up one of the toughest jobs in the game.

The Sri Lankan, who previously coached the Sydney Thunder Twenty20 team, has taken over from Australian Shane Jurgensen and his first assignment is this Sunday with the start of a three-match One-Day International (ODI) series against India.

Jurgensen quit in April after presiding over a disastrous run at home, which saw Bangladesh thrashed by Sri Lanka in a limited-over series and humbled in the Asia Cup 2014 and ICC World T20 2014 despite being hosts.

The former opening batsman is the ninth foreigner to coach Bangladesh since it gained Test status in 2000, a period in which it has won just four out of 83 Test matches and has been defeated 68 times.

Hathurusingha, who has been handed a two-year contract, told reporters that he was targeting an improvement in all departments.

“There should be continuous success, not one or two series wins,” he said at a press conference in the Bangladesh capital Dhaka where all three of the 50-over matches against world champions India are taking place.

“My main goal is to make sure that when my two years is finished, Bangladesh are in a good position to win matches at home and away,” he added.

Bangladesh are currently rooted to the bottom of the league table of the 10 Test-playing nations and are ninth in the rankings for 50-over cricket. Hathurusingha however insisted that there was reason for optimism.

“As long as we improve as a team, and if we train properly and keep the right environment for players to develop as individuals as well as players, I think the results will take care of itself,” he said.

Hathurusingha is taking up his position just eight months from the start of the next 50-over World Cup, being held in Australia and New Zealand.

Despite its poor record overall, Bangladesh has pulled off some notable shock World Cup victories and beat England last time round in 2011.

Hathurusingha said that there was no reason why Bangladesh could not deliver more bloody noses in next year’s tournament.

“If we prepare intelligently enough or specifically enough, we will go far. I am happy to be in the second round, that’s my first goal,” he concluded.

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