When Chandika Hathurusingha takes over as Sri Lanka's head coach at some point this month, his first assignment will be against Bangladesh, the team he has only recently left in unceremonious circumstances. ESPNcricinfo understands that Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) and Hathurusingha have agreed verbally on the deal, and are about a week away from putting pen to paper.
That will end weeks of speculation about Hathurusingha's new job, after BCB president Nazmul Hassan said last month that the coach had sent his resignation letter from the Bangladesh job in mid-October, and that the BCB had accepted his resignation. Hassan, and other BCB officials, later said that Hathurusingha wasn't taking their calls although he had apparently said that he would be in Dhaka after November 15.
However, BCB have now given up hope on Hathurusingha's arrival in Dhaka or the prospect of him further extending his stay in Bangladesh. Instead, they are now turning their focus on the prospect of facing him in the opposition camp. In January, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka play an ODI tri-series involving Zimbabwe and then bilateral T20 and Test series.
"Officially we are not aware whether he has taken a new job anywhere else," said the BCB director Jalal Yunus, repeating what the BCB has been saying for the past 10 days in response to queries about Hathurusingha.
When asked about his first assignment likely being against Bangladesh in January, Yunus said: "If he does take the Sri Lanka job, then he will have the advantage of knowing our players quite well. Not just off the laptop, but from practical experience. He knows our long-term plans. He will also know more about the pitches. But I also feel that he will also be with Sri Lankan cricketers after a long time so he may need a bit of time to adjust there as well."
Ironically, Sri Lanka were on the receiving end of a similar switch in 2014 when Paul Farbrace resigned from the head coach's position and joined England as assistant coach, weeks before Sri Lanka were to tour England.
Earlier this year, Hathurusingha had given a hint of thinking of moving back to Sri Lanka in an interview during Bangladesh's tour of Sri Lanka.
"I will absolutely come [if SLC asks me to]," Hathurusingha said in March 2017. "I am in this position today because of all the things I learned playing cricket in Sri Lanka. After I learned everything in Sri Lanka for about 20 years, I went to Australia and learned things there as well. But if Sri Lanka invites me at any time, I will happily come back to do something for the country."