The Bangladesh cricket team are basking in the glory of their success at reaching the semi-finals stage of a major ICC tournament for the first time in their history and it has been something that has been coming for quite some time.
The Tigers have made rapid strides in international cricket over the past couple of years or so, especially in the ODI format, having beaten the likes of India, South Africa, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, England among others on numerous occasions. The victory over England at the 2015 ICC World Cup held in Australia and New Zealand was a monumental one as they showed that they can win big away from home as well.
And now, the triumph over New Zealand at the ongoing 2017 ICC Champions Trophy coupled with England’s triumph over Australia on Saturday meant that the Mashrafe Mortaza-led side made it to the knockout stages of the competition and they are well and truly a force to be reckoned with in ODI cricket.
The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has done an excellent job in getting together an excellent team together to support the players with former Sri Lankan cricketer Thilan Samaraweera acting as the batting coach, West Indies legend, Courtney Walsh donning the role as fast bowling coach and former Indian spinner Sunil Joshi acting as the side’s spin bowling coach.
While most of the above appointments have been recent ones, the one man though that has truly been the architect behind Bangladesh’s transformation is their head coach Chandika Hathurusingha. The former Sri Lankan cricketer has worked wonders with the team since his appointment in May 2014, inspiring the players to put in their best foot forward every time they step out in the middle.
Here are 10 things to know about the man behind the scenes in Bangladesh’s revised fortunes in international cricket.
#1 Most successful coach in Bangladesh history
Since taking over from his predecessor Shane Jurgensen, who resigned from his post as Bangladesh head coach following the 2014 ICC Twenty 20, Hathurusingha has transformed the Asian nation’s approach to the game at all levels. The players are more confident about themselves and the results have shown on the pitch as well with numbers backing Hathurusingha’s work.
The difference is particularly evident in ODI cricket where the performances against the best teams have also vastly improved.
Bangladesh in ODIs (As on 11 April 2017)
|Till April 2014||283||80||200||3||29%|
|Since May 2014||41||22||17||2||56%|
Against Top-8 teams (India, Pakistan, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, England, Sri Lanka and West Indies)
|Till April 2014||191||27||161||3||14%|
|Since May 2014||28||10||16||2||38%|
Series result against Top-8 teams
|Till April 2014||55||4||48|
|Since May 2014||9||3||5|
Hathurusingha’s record in the Test and T20 format have also been impressive making him by far the most successful coach in Bangladesh’s history
#2 Big influence behind the scenes
Whilst transforming Bangladesh cricket’s fortunes on the pitch, Hathurusingha has also been making changes behind the scenes as well, calling for and implementing a professional approach to the way the game in the country should be run.
In addition to the head coach’s role, Hathurusingha is also a selector and he also has a big say in the appointment of his support staff. The BCB has made a lot of investment in the former Sri Lankan cricketer and it is paying dividends. And with his contract running till the 2019 ICC World Cup there is only one way Bangladesh cricket is heading and that is upwards.
The way he has safeguarded the interests of Bangladesh cricket by curtailing youngster Mustafizur Rahman’s County Cricket and IPL ambitions in the wake of injury troubles is also commendable considering the benefits in the long run.