Bangladesh head coach Chandika Hathurusingha was talking over the phone outside the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Birmingham as he was preparing to go to Edgbaston when suddenly someone from behind came over and hugged and congratulated him.
The person in question is a former Australian cricketer who is in England right now as the ICC ambassador of the 2017 Champions Trophy.
The Tigers coach turned around to see that it was none other than Michael Hussey, who also goes by the moniker of Mr Cricket, with a broad smile on his face.
During his brief coaching stint in Australia with the Sydney Thunder not so long ago, Hathurusingha shared a good relationship with Hussey. The left-handed batsman played three seasons with the Thunder, including one in 2013 under the supervision of Hathurusingha. Upon meeting each other, both started to talk about Bangladesh cricket and the improvements he witnessed.
It should be mentioned that Hussey wrote in an article some time ago that he won’t be surprised if Bangladesh reach the semi-finals of the Champions Trophy. His words eventually turned out to be true as the Tigers progressed to the last four of the mega event.
After a chat with the Tigers coach, Hussey was heading towards a walk when this reporter managed to get hold of him. He was reminded of his article and asked to assess Bangladesh's recent successes.
“Well obviously they are a well deserved side to reach the semi-final. And I must say they have improved a lot. I think they have some very talented players like Shakib al Hasan, Tamim iqbal, Mahmudullah and Mushfiqur Rahim,” Hussey told Dhaka Tribune.
“I think these cricketers have been playing cricket for a long time together and they gel around pretty well. And at the same time, I must say their experience have worked out well for the team. They now play as a unit with some very talented youngsters in the side, making them a very good side,” he said.
Australia were a tad unlucky after their game against Bangladesh was washed out due to rain. The 42-year old did express disappointment as his team were knocked out from the tournament.
“What to say, I am a bit frustrated. Obviously Australia are out of the tournament. But yes, I am happy to see Bangladesh’s progress,” said Hussey with a smile on his face. He added, "There is no chance of not improving if you have a coach like Hathurusingha."