August 7, 2019 / 5:51 PM / 17 days ago

Cricket: Sri Lanka name Ratnayake interim coach, Hathurusingha's future unclear

(Reuters) - Former fast bowler Rumesh Ratnayake has been appointed Sri Lanka’s interim coach ahead of their home test series against New Zealand, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) said on Wednesday.

SLC refused, however, to clarify whether head coach Chandika Hathurusingha had been sacked.

Hathurusingha, appointed in December 2017, has been criticised for the team’s poor recent performances, including this year’s Cricket World Cup in which Sri Lanka were knocked out in the group stage.

“We’ve been watching the coach’s performance for over a year-and-a-half. Based on that we’ve taken this decision,” SLC President Shammi Silva told reporters.

“I was also in the board that recruited Hathurusingha, and we’ve made some mistakes. But if we are to do right by cricket in (the) future, we have to correct those mistakes.”

Silva said Hathurusingha had been sent an explanatory letter and SLC would wait 14 days for his response. He refused to explain the issues with the coach, saying it was a “legal matter”.

Hathurusingha confirmed he had received a letter.

"As far as I'm concerned, my contract with SLC is still there," Hathurusingha told ESPNcricinfo here. "The letter doesn't say anything about termination of contract or anything like that."

Sri Lanka play New Zealand in a two-test series starting on Aug. 14.

Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond

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