Dassanayake renamed national cricket coachThe 51-year-old is the most successful coach of the Nepal cricket team having guided them to World T20 in 2014.
Former national men's cricket team coach Pubudu Dassanayake has been reappointed for a two-year tenure, Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) announced on Saturday.
The Sri Lanka born Canadian had quit in October 2015 after his five-year stint with Nepal saw him guide the national team to 2014 ICC World Twenty20.
"I am very excited to be back in Nepal as the head coach and will work hard to take Nepal cricket to the next level," said Dassanayake, who will arrive in Kathmandu by December 20.
The position of head coach had been vacant after Sri Lankan World Cup winning coach Dav Whatmore resigned in September citing personal reasons nine months after his appointment in January.
Following the resignation of Whatmore, the cricket governing body had invited applications for the head coach on October 18. Among 60 applicants for the hot seat, the Coach Recruitment Committee shortlisted seven candidates for interview.
Indian coach Monty Desai and the Sri Lanka born Canadian Dassanayake were among the top choices of the five-member committee headed by acting secretary Prashant Bikram Malla. The other members of the committee include treasurer Roshan Kumar Singh, general manager Raunaq Bahadur Malla, cricket manager Binod Das and an ICC representative.
"This decision from the Coach Recruitment Committee was officially endorsed by the virtual board meeting this morning," states a press note by CAN.
"All our conditions matched with Dassanayake and he was very comfortable to be back to Nepal. He has also contributed to Nepali cricket in the past and we found him excited to work with Team Nepal. He had also applied for the position when Whatmore was picked last time," said Malla, who also refused to reveal his salary. "We have fulfilled his demand and we decided not to reveal his salary on his request," added Malla.
However, according to a CAN insider, Desai was the top choice for the post. "We had discussions with both Desai and Dassanayake parallelly. Both are good coaches but some of our conditions did not match with Desai," said Malla. When asked if it was salary or something else, he said, "It may also be salary and every aspect must match cent percent. We also have limitations."
The national team had made rapid progress under Dassanayake in his last stint where they reached Division 2 from Division 4, apart from securing a place for the World T20.
"I am simply gratified and blessed that I have got this opportunity to work with the Cricket Association of Nepal. I am hopeful I would be able now to take Nepal cricket to a great height as we have immense talent not only at senior level but also at the junior level. I would like to thank CANepal and the entire management, cricket fans from Nepal for providing me this wonderful opportunity," CAN quoted Dassanayake as saying.
According to CAN, the head coach will be responsible for leading the development of the men's team to produce consistent performances in all formats at the international level. He will be working in close consultation with the cricket manager to design and deliver well-structured and progressive coaching programmes, inspiring current and future generations of cricketers.