Inside Story: How Rumesh Ratnayake replaced Jerome Jayaratne as Sri Lanka interim coach for New Zealand Series?

Written by N Krishnamurthy

On August 2, the office bearers of Sri Lanka Cricket Board (SLC) – President Shammi Silva, immediate past President, secretary Mohan De Silva, vice president Ravin Wickramaratne, CEO Ashley De Silva and others – met Sports Minister Harin Fernando to discuss about the support staff of the national team Amids ongoing controversy over million dollars coach Chandika Hathurasingha.

In the meeting, when Harin made it loud and clear that Hathurusingha wouldn’t be Sri Lanka Coach for New Zealand Series as per his directive to SLC (dated July 17), SLC President Shammi Silva proposed board COO Jerome Jayaratne as interim coach!

Harin Fernando, as Sports Minister, agreed on Jerome’s name.

On August 5, Cricket Age broke the news that Jerome would be interim coach. Later, Sri Lanka media also published the news saying Jerome would be interim coach. The news was true and authentic (at that time), simply because it came from insiders of Sports Ministry, which is the highest authority of Sri Lanka Cricket.

However, for some mysterious reasons, Jerome was not keen to be interim coach. As soon as Cricket Age broke the news, he was denying it by stating at SLC that he would not going to accept it.

The Same happened! On August 6, SLC held an emergency ExCo meeting to decide Hathurusingha’s fate. In the meeting, it was decided to send a charge sheet to Hathurusingha. And, as Jerome was claiming, not he but Sri Lanka fast bowling coach Rumesh Ratnayake was appointed interim coach for the New Zealand series!

But, it was only the interval of the drama! Next day, on August 7, SLC assistant secratary Crysantha Kapuwatha sent a circular to SLC members that as per the directive by Harin Fernando as Sports Minister, Jerome Jayarathne has been appointed as national Team consultant. However, as mentioned above, it was not Harin, but SLC idea to put Jerome as interim coach during August 2 meeting at Sports Ministry.

So, finally, now Rumesh Ratnayake will be the interim coach of Sri Lanka for New Zealand Series, while Jerome Jayaratne will take over as consultant!

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N Krishnamurthy