Bangladesh assistant coach Richard Halsall said it is the players who play in the field, not the coach, when queried if Sri Lanka would have an advantage in having former Tigers head coach Chandika Hathurusingha as their new coach.
Halsall and Hathurusingha worked together as the Tigers' assistant coach and coach respectively just a few months ago before the latter resigned from his post abruptly in October-November.
As Hathrusingha’s first assignment as Sri Lanka coach is against his former team Bangladesh, questions have been raised if the Lankans would get extra benefit from Hathursingha, since he worked with Bangladesh cricket closely for around three and a half years and also knows the players really well.
Bangladesh will face Sri Lanka in their next ODI of the tri-nation series at Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka Friday. But Halsall believes it’s the players who will make the difference in the middle, not the coach.
“Hathurusingha is a very good coach, but as you saw [Monday] night, it is Tamim Iqbal who scores runs, Shakib al Hasan who takes wickets. Chandika can’t score runs or take wickets,” said Halsall.
Halsall also praised Sri Lanka as a team and termed them dangerous, despite their recent poor form, and is expecting a tough fight Friday.
“Sri Lanka are a very strong side when they perform to their best. We saw that in the Champions Trophy when they beat India. We know how they can play, but they haven’t played like that recently. It doesn’t mean they won’t play really well in three days' time. They have some excellent players like [Angelo] Mathews and [Suranga] Lakmal. They have had a rough year, but they are a good side,” he added.