Associated Press

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) – Having tendered his resignation as Bangladesh’s cricket coach, Chandika Hathurusinghe is favored to take up the position of Sri Lanka’s head coach.

That is according to Sri Lanka’s sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara, who told reporters he is confident of Hathurusinghe joining Sri Lanka.

Bangladesh cricket officials said last week that Hathurusinghe submitted a letter of resignation during the Bangladesh team’s tour of South Africa last month, after being criticized for the team’s poor performance.

Bangladesh cricket officials have said Hathurusinghe did not give reasons for his decision or discuss the matter with the board.

It is still uncertain how Hathurusinghe’s contractual obligations with Bangladesh Cricket Board, which runs up to 2019 World Cup, will be resolved.

Jayasekara told reporters on Wednesday that Sri Lanka Cricket has invited Hathurusinghe to serve as the head coach until 2019.

“We will welcome him with respect and love,” Jayasekara said. “We are ready to give our full strength and courage to move forward.”

Sri Lanka cricket authorities are facing mounting criticism from fans due to the poor performance of its national team in recent months.

Hathurusinghe, a former test player for Sri Lanka, is considered one of the highest paid coaches in the world.

“He has said he is not expecting a big salary here and that he wants to do something for the country,” Jayasekara said. “We respect him for coming here leaving a big salary there.”

Under Hathurusinghe’s guidance, Bangladesh cricket has shown rapid progress, reaching the semifinals of the Champions Trophy tournament in England this year.

It also registered its first ever test wins over Sri Lanka, England and Australia.

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