The tri-nation ODI series featuring host Bangladesh and visiting sides Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe will be an interesting one for a notable reason.
All the three head coaches of the sides - Bangladesh’s Khaled Mahmud Sujon, Sri Lanka’s Chandika Hathurusingha and Zimbabwe’s Heath Streak - were colleagues, working together for Bangladesh even two and a half years ago.
Although Mahmud’s Bangladesh designation is not directly that of a “coach”, rather he is the technical director of the Tigers. But unofficially, he is leading the coaching staff as he has been with the team for a long period of time.
The trio – Mahmud, Hathurusingha and Streak - have achieved a lot of success for Team Bangladesh as the Tigers performed well in the 2015 World Cup, and won series’ against India, Pakistan and South Africa at home.
Now these three are representing their respective countries and will battle for the elusive tri-series. The series will be key in many aspects for these three coaches.
This is the first series for Bangladesh in the post-Hathurusingha era. Mahmud has been with the team for the last few years. He has coaching experience in domestic level where his team won the championship. So it’s a good test for him to prove yet again that he can manage the national side.
Zimbabwe are struggling in all formats of the game in the last couple of years. But they recently defeated Sri Lanka in an away series. So this series is a good chance for them to prove their worth and show their capability. It is also a good challenge for Streak to prove he is the right man to lead Zimbabwe forward.
On the other hand, Hathurusingha took over the responsibility of his home country at a very crucial time for the island nation. They are going through a transitional period after the retirements of legendary players like Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara and Tillakaratne Dilshan. But a lot of time have elapsed since then and Sri Lanka need to perform as a team sooner, rather than later.
Hathurusingha’s abrupt resignation from the post of Bangladesh coach happened amid much drama. The ending was not perfect for Hathurusingha as Bangladesh lost heavily against South Africa in his last series.
But his former colleague Streak believes Hathurusingha’s decision was not shocking as everyone wants to become coach of their home nation. Streak admitted that the series will be an interesting one as everyone knows each other well.
“Chandika is a Sri Lankan. The opportunity to coach your own country is always a big thing. These days a lot of coaches are part of a team. I had a good relation with Chandika and Khaled Sujon, the technical director. I think it will be a good challenge for all of us. We know the conditions and players, so does Chandika. I think a lot of these Sri Lankan and Zimbabwean guys played in the BPL. There aren’t many secrets out there anymore,” Streak said to the media.