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Hathurusingha given deadline to vacate coaching position

Sri Lanka head coach Chandika Hathurusingha has been given the ultimatum by the country's sports minister to resign before the home Test series scheduled against New Zealand in mid-August.

The search for appointing the new Sri Lanka coach is currently underway as the board has invited applications to replace the incumbent Hathurusingha.

Sports minister Harin Fernando said Hathurusingha will have to vacate his coaching position before the forthcoming Test series or else he will face legal action.

"Before the New Zealand Test series we will have a new coach," Fernando told reporters in Colombo.

"If Hathurusingha does not leave, we may have to consider legal action or offer him a different job at the board."

Sri Lanka's lackluster World Cup campaign, which saw them end sixth in the team-team table, led the authorities to sack the head coach and his assistants.

While Fernando did not specify any names, he mentioned that there were three top international candidates willing to take up the coaching role.

'International candidates are asking for lower salaries'

Fernando complained that Hathurusingha's current remuneration - $40,000 a month - was profligate.

"If we are winning only 35 percent of the games, no need to pay such high fees to coaches."

He claimed the international applicants were satisfied with half the salary given to Hathurusingha.

"For the price we are paying now, we can get two foreign coaches," he said.

"We must renegotiate the high fees we are paying at the moment. If they don't agree, they can go."

A conflict has been brewing between Hathurusingha and Sri Lanka Cricket after the 50-year-old had insisted he wanted to continue working till the end of his contract.

"I have another 16 months," he had said following the World Cup in England and Wales. "I hope to remain until my contract runs out."

Hathurusingha also admitted to the shortcomings of the team management for not being able to elevate the side's performance.

Hathurusingha was installed as the Sri Lanka coach in 2017 after a productive three-year stint with Bangladesh.

Under his charge, Sri Lanka completed the first ever Test series win by an Asian side in South Africa when they triumphed by a margin of 2-0 earlier this year.

The opening Test against New Zealand will commence on August 14 in Galle.

A three-match T20 series will proceed the two five-day games.

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