World Cup winning Sri Lankan appointed Nigeria head coach

Nigeria in Sharjah
Nigeria in Sharjah

Asanka Gurusinha, the hard-hitting left-hander who was part of Sri Lanka’s World Cup-winning team in 1996, will be the new Nigeria head coach and high-performance manager, it has been announced.

Commencing in his new role on the first day of December, Gurusinha will lead the Nigeria Cricket Federation’s high-performance unit and also act as coach trainer and mentor to the country’s rapidly growing number of local coaches.

The 54-year-old, who has spent many of his recent years in Australia, had an 11-year international career, playing 41 Tests and 147 One Day Internationals for Sri Lanka, highlighted with a crucial 65 runs scored in the final against Australia at Lahore in 1996.

A Level 3 certified coach, he was appointed as the cricket manager for the Sri Lanka national team in 2017 and has also served as a consultant regional coach for Cricket Australia.

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Nigeria has featured in recent global events with male teams competing at the ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup earlier this year in South Africa, while the senior Yellow Greens were one of 14 sides in the UAE for the T20 World Cup Qualifier in 2019.

Reacting to the appointment, the President of the Federation Prof. Yahaya Adam Ukwenya described the move as timely and purpose driven and one that has enjoyed the support of the Honorable Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare.

Read more: Nigerian men’s cricket captain Joshua Ayannaike speaks to Emerging Cricket

‘The appointment of Asanka marks another milestone in this administration’s desire to raise the standard of the game in the country both at the elite and development level. Internally, his appointment will greatly impart on our development structure as we look to begin our Accelerated Growth Program. On the big stage, Nigeria can no longer take a passing interest in World Cricket, we should be able to compete at all levels we play and not just make up the numbers,’ he said.

The official unveiling of the head coach is scheduled to take place on the 8th of December 2020 at the National Stadium in Abuja.

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