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Hathurusingha savours new challenge with Sri Lanka

AFP  |  Dhaka 

today welcomed the challenge of coaching a deflated back to form after their worst year in international cricket, marked by humiliating defeats and few wins.

The freshly-appointed head took the bruised national side to over the weekend ahead of their first international series of the year.

Hathurusingha said "have a lot to improve" but he was optimistic they could turn the corner after a dismal year of losses, leadership changes, and scandal for the former winners.

"I am excited to take up the challenge. I am excited with the talent and skills available with my team now," Hathurusingha, 49, told reporters Sunday.

A tri-nation one-day international tournament starts Monday with a contest between and

Sri Lanka's first match of the event is against Wednesday, before they face two days later.

It is familiar ground for Hathurusingha, who quit as head in the middle of their disastrous tour of to return to his native

The islanders are licking their wounds after their worst performance since 1987.

won just five of their 29 ODIs, with and scandals also plaguing the side on and off the field.

stood down as in July amid the turmoil but just six months later was reappointed for limited-overs ahead of the 2019

were the final team to qualify for the tournament they won in 1996.

Hathurusingha resigned as in October after a largely successful stint helping the side claim several high-profile wins and reach seventh in the ODI rankings.

He ruled out being "emotionally attached" to his former side, but wished well in the tri-nation series.

"I worked with them closely and got to know them really well. At the same time, I want to do well," he said.

Mathews, 30, said he was pleased to return as "I never expected it, but I am looking forward to it," he said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, January 14 2018. 20:40 IST