The BCB has named Champaka Ramanayake and Simon Helmot as the Bangladesh bowling and batting coach respectively for the Nidahas series 2018. The decisions were announced by the BCB CEO Nizamuddin Chowdhury Tuesday as the Tigers prepare to leave for the tri-nation T20I series involving India and host Sri Lanka.
Bangladesh have been without a head coach since November, 2017, and produced disastrous performances in the final of the ODI tri- series, followed by the two-match Test and T20I series at home against Sri Lanka. The BCB first announced the Tigers’ pace bowling coach Courtney Walsh as the interim head coach of the side. And within 24 hours, the board has come to the decision to involve Champaka and Helmot with the national team.
Former Sri Lanka pacer Champaka is in contract with the BCB as High Performance bowling coach but his past experience with the Bangladesh team ensured it was an easy choice for the board. On the other hand, Helmot, who works with the BCB in the capacity of the HP assistant coach has the experience of coaching in franchise T20 leagues which he can bring to the Bangladesh dressing room.
The decision for the interim appointments of the national coaching staff has come amid controversy surrounding national fielding coach Richard Halsall's future with the BCB. Halsall was appointed national assistant coach from fielding coach in 2016. However, according to media reports, Halsall was not in good terms with senior members of the team in the shape of ODI captain Mashrafe bin Mortaza and opening batsman Tamim Iqbal.
It has also been reported that Halsall had met influential personnel in the BCB, complaining about the seniors which the board representatives had found to be weak and baseless. Since the completion of the home series earlier this month, Halsall has been on leave and the BCB has extended the former Zimbabwe cricketer's holiday by not involving him in the Nidahas series, set to start in Colombo on March 6. It has been widely speculated that BCB has terminated Halsall’s contract.
"It is not that he (Halsall) is not the assistant coach anymore. He is still working with us. I am not sure what you have heard (about Halsall) but we have come to a decision. As Nidahas series is a T20I tournament, Helmot will work as the batting coach of the national team considering his experience in the T20 franchise leagues around the world. Champaka will work as the bowling coach. These two will be additional to the team’s coaching staff only for the Nidahas series," said Nizamuddin to the media.
"Halsall will not be part of the team during the Nidahas series. He is currently on leave. You know that we have tour of the West Indies and that the board is discussing for a series against Afghanistan this year. So he will join the camp for those series," the BCB high-up added.
Meanwhile the board has also come to the decision of appointing additional pitch curator. According to Nizamuddin, the board is in the process of adding one or two more curators to lessen the burden of national curator Gamini de Silva. It is understood that the board is in final stage of appointing Indian pitch curator Praveen Hinganikar.
"Gamini has been working with us for a long time. We have planned to get one or two more curators from abroad. We already had a meeting with one of the candidates and if everything falls into place, he will soon join us," informed Nizamuddin.