Dhaka [Bangladesh], February 22 (ANI): Bangladesh head coach Chandika Hathurusingha on Wednesday clarified that there is "no tension" between him and the senior players of the side and it had never been a challenge in the past to work with the veterans in the team.
During his first stint with Bangladesh back in 2014, Hathurusingha complained to the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) Nazmul Hassan about all-rounder Shakib al Hasan's "serious misbehaviour", which led to Hasan being banned for six months. It is also understood he wanted to get Mahmudullah dropped during the 2017 Sri Lanka tour and also pushed veteran bowler Mashrafe Mortaza to retire from T20Is the same year.
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"There is no tension with any of the players with me. 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 Nidhas Trophy and the Asia Cup after that," said the coach as quoted by ESPNCricinfo.
"I do not think it (working with senior players) 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 did not face challenges with any of the players," added the coach.
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Hathurusingha's re-appointment after his first stint in 2014-17, which saw him leave abruptly for coaching role with Sri Lanka, has got mixed reactions from his country's cricketing fraternity.
In his first press conference since re-appointment, he defended Bangladesh's strategy of using raging turners at home for Tests, which helped them win Tests against England and Australia in 2016. But since his exit in 2017, the spin-dependent formula did not really work and his side won only four out of 16 Tests.
He used India's ongoing Test series against Australia as an example, where tracks have been spin-friendly in India and the host side has made full use of their home conditions. He also talked about how Bangladesh faces tough conditions in England, Australia and New Zealand.
"I am asking you, what is home advantage?" he said.
"What sort of wicket do we get when we go to New Zealand? What does Australia or England do when we go there? What is India doing at home? We will try to manage with what we have in overseas. If we do not have missiles, how do you fight? We have to fight a guerilla war, is not it? We cannot battle them with little guns at home. If we do not have ammunition, we cannot do it."
"We can develop those players, so eventually we have enough. They did well in South Africa and New Zealand. Ebadot [Hossain] and [Najmul Hossain] Shanto went to New Zealand when I was here, as development players. They are now doing well. It takes time. We need to take home advantage. Every country is doing it," the coach concluded his point.
Hathurusingha said that the biggest motivation to return was to guide the side through its transition period, starting from the 50-over World Cup which will be held in India later in October-November 2023.
"I think we are in a transition period in the next two or three years. A lot of the senior players have done really well for Bangladesh cricket. They are going to be remembered as a really good generation. Other side is the really good young players coming through. To be part of that kind of challenge has always motivated me to come back."
"Back of my mind, I wanted to come back someday. But then, during the T20 World Cup, when I met the president and some of the officials, we discussed a few things. I thought it was the right time to come with the 50-over World Cup coming up. I thought it would be too late if I came after the New South Wales (where he worked as an assistant coach) season. So I thought this is the right time to come. As soon as the Big Bash ended, I decided to come," concluded the coach.
Hathurusingha said that he wants to give back to the country by developing local coaches.
"When I was thinking of taking this job, I had the big picture in mind. The last time when I came here, I had to prove to a lot of people and myself that I can do the international job. I did not know what I was coming into. This time I know a lot of things about how Bangladesh cricket works. I know about myself. I am much more experienced," said the coach.
"I see a lot of potential in developing the local coaches. I want to help set up the system. With (BCB head of programmes) David Moore coming before me, I want to suggest about development areas of the next generation. It is not only me trying to win games for Bangladesh. It is my main aim. I want to give something back, and leave something behind," he concluded. (ANI)
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