Sri Lankan sports minister calls for sacking cricket coaches

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Sri Lanka's sports minister has asked the cricket board to replace the coaching staff headed by Chandika Hathurusingha after the national team's early exit in the recent World Cup, an official said Monday.

However, Sri Lanka Cricket Secretary Mohan de Silva said any decision must be mindful of Sri Lanka's bad reputation for hiring and firing coaches.

De Silva said sports minister Harin Fernando had made the request in writing, and that cricket board is legally required to carry it out.

"But we know this is a complex problem because we are dealing with professionals," de Silva said. "We know Sri Lanka has a bad reputation that we have hired and fired coaches over the past so many years. We know our responsibilities and we also can't go against the minister's recommendations."

He said contractual obligations with the coaches must also be respected and a final decision on the matter will be taken by the board's executive committee.

Hathurusingha was hired in 2017 after a successful stint with Bangladesh but Sri Lanka was eliminated in the group stage at the World Cup after winning only three of nine games.

Sri Lanka employed 11 coaches, including interim appointments, from 2011 to 2017.

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