The former Nepal coach will return to the position following the resignation of Dav Whatmore
Dassanayake has had a successful run as coach at the Associate level over the years. From 2007 to 2011, he was with Canada, who he represented as a cricketer after migrating from Sri Lanka in 2001. He helped the team qualify for their third straight ODI World Cup, and was then appointed as Nepal coach.
“I am simply gratified and blessed that I have got this opportunity to work with Cricket Association of Nepal,” he said after his appointment. “I am hopeful I would be able now to take Nepal cricket to a great height as we have immense talent not only in senior level but also in the junior level.”
He was involved with the Nepal set-up from 2011 to 2016, guiding them from Division Four of the World Cricket League (WCL) to Division One, the WCL Championship, and to their first major ICC tournament, the 2014 T20 World Cup.
As a cricketer, Dassanayake, now 51, played 11 Tests and 16 ODIs as a wicketkeeper for Sri Lanka between 1993 and 1994, before Romesh Kaluwitharana became the preferred keeper for the national team. By the turn of the millennium, he was spending his off seasons playing as an overseas club pro for Centurions CC in the Toronto suburb of Brampton. By 2001, he had left Sri Lanka for good.
Though he didn’t have hopes of continuing as a cricketer in Canada, his performances with Centurions CC helped him make the Canada team once he had completed his four-year residency requirement. He made his debut at 34 in the 2005 ICC Trophy in Ireland, where he helped Canada qualify for the 2007 World Cup. He couldn’t take part in the tournament, though, because of his commitments as a duty manager at the Toronto Cricket, Skating & Curling Club.
At 36, after the 2007 World Cup, he took over as the coach of the Canada side, and has been a professional coach since.
Whatmore, whose shoes Dassanayake will fill, was appointed to the position in Nepal in December 2020 and took charge in early 2021, with qualification for the 2022 T20 World Cup in Australia the stated focus. Whatmore, however, decided to step down shortly into his job, and it was understood at the time that his decision was influenced by the Covid-19 pandemic, which had made it difficult for him to see his family because of travel restrictions.