Mahanama says he quit on a matter of policy

by Ravi Nagahawatte
Former Sri Lanka test cricketer, Roshan Mahanama, who recently tendered his resignation from the posts of Head Coach and Manager of the Sri Lanka ‘A’ squad, told ‘The Island’ that he decided to call it quits as he thought two people could not hold the post as Sri Lanka ‘A’ team coach.

Mahanama said that he didn’t have any problems with Hemantha Devapriya, who also shared the same designation as Sri Lanka ‘A’ team coach, but forwarded his resignation as a matter of principal.

According to Mahanama he had been made to understand by the Interim Committee of the Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka that Devapriya was to be enstrusted duties as coach of another sqaud and he was to take over the Sri Lanka ‘A’ team subsequently. Devapriya was in charge of the Sri Lanka ‘A’ squad at the time Mahanama received his appointment.

"We continued to share the same posts for five months. The Interim Committee did nothing to resolve this matter till I raised objections. I communicated with the Interim Committee on this issue but was disheartened at comments directed at me by it’s members on this issue. There was no option left for me but to resign," said Mahanama who received his appointment in September last year.

Mahanama was associated in coaching the Sri Lanka ‘A’ side with Devapriya in matches where the team played against Zimbabwe, West Indies and Kenya, which eventually happened to be his last assignment with the side. Mahanama tendered his resignation on February 26, the day the Interim Committee claim to have resolved the matter by appointing Devapriya as the coach the Sri Lanka Develpment Squad.

According to a release issued by the Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka it had initiated extensive discussions with Mahanama in an attempt to resolve the matter.

The release further states that Mahanama had made a complaint as he felt that there was a conflict in the roles of Devapriya and himself.

It had been explained to Mahanama that the situation was to be resolved by the Cricket Committee representatives of the Interim Committee by speaking to Devapriya. This was done a day after the Kenya tour in the presence of the Director Cricket Operations. The BCCSL had also earlier spoken to Devapriya regarding the issue.

The release further states that Devapriya had agreed to coach the BCCSL’s Development Sqaud with effect from February 26 and cricket Board can’t inderstand why Mahanama had to resign. Therefore the BCCSL had no option but to accept the resignation of Mahanama.

Hemantha Devapriya when contacted declined to make any comments on the issue stating that his contract with the BCCSL prohibited him in making any statements to the media.