Sri Lanka's head coach Chandika Hathurusingha has been left stranded in the Caribbean, awaiting a visa to travel to the United Kingdom. Hathurusingha was scheduled to travel to the UK on his way from the Caribbean to inspect practice facilities in England ahead of next year's World Cup challenge. But his plans have gone awry.
Sri Lanka are expected to leave for England three weeks prior to their World Cup campaign. The team will play three warm-up games against Scotland prior to the World Cup and will use the three-week period to acclimatise to conditions. Most of Sri Lanka's World Cup games are played in the north of England.
With no county facilities available prior to three weeks before the World Cup, three private schools had expressed their interests to provide practice facilities for the Sri Lankans and the head coach was supposed to visit the three schools.
"The investment we have to make is huge and the head coach was keen on visiting those facilities and checking whether it was worth the investment. He was supposed to decide whether the facilities were to his liking and if not so he wanted to look at alternatives. Taking the team to Spain was an alternative he had," a Sri Lanka cricket official told Cricbuzz.
Initially, Hathurusingha was expected to return home on July 5 as the Sri Lankan team was supposed to start training on July 6 ahead of the home series against South Africa. Now he is expected to return home straight from the Caribbean and postpone his trip to England to a later day.
The Sri Lankans have come under criticism for their excesses during the recent tour to West Indies. While captain Dinesh Chandimal was suspended from the final Test in Barbados for ball tampering, he was charged along with the head coach and manager Asanka Gurusinha for a more serious Level 3 offence that deals with bringing the game into disrepute.
The trio have admitted to the charge and face heavy sanction from the ICC. While the captain is likely to be suspended for the entire series, the accreditation of both the coach and manager will be withdrawn resulting in them being unable to enter the ground on match days.
The first Test gets underway in Galle on July 12.