COLOMBO: Sri Lanka is in talks to hire former Bangladesh head coach Chandika Hathurusingha to groom its national team for the 2019 cricket World Cup, sources said Wednesday.
The 49-year-old Sri Lankan stepped down from the Bangladesh team earlier this month after a disastrous tour of South Africa.
Since then there has been speculation he is to take the job of head coach at Sri Lanka Cricket which has been vacant since South African Graham Ford quit in June.
Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara declined to comment on the talks but said he hoped the former Test player would take on the job.
"I (would) certainly welcome Hathurusingha to prepare our team for the next World Cup," Jayasekara told reporters in Colombo.
"But I don't want to say anything about the discussions that are taking place."
Under Hathurusingha, perennial minnows Bangladesh made rapid strides in world cricket, reaching the semi-finals of the Champions Trophy tournament in England this year.
But he came in for criticism during Bangladesh's recent tour of South Africa, where the team failed to register a single win.
His contract with the Bangladesh Cricket Board was supposed to run until World Cup 2019 and made him one of the highest-paid cricket coaches in the world on $40,000 a month.
Hathurusingha played 26 Tests and 35 ODIs for Sri Lanka before becoming the assistant coach under Trevor Bayliss, a job he lost in 2010.
He went on to be appointed coach for Australia's New South Wales side, landing the more lucrative Bangladesh job in May 2014.