Jerome Jayaratne, the former Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), has been appointed as the team manager for the upcoming West Indies tour, Cricket Age reliably learns.
Sri Lanka are set to tour the Caribbean following their home series against England. The Islanders will play two Tests, three ODIs and three T20Is against the West Indies in February-March 2021. The Test series will be part of the ICC World Test Championship and the series will be played for the Sobers-Tissera Trophy.
Cricket Age had published on January 21 that a higher authority instructed Asantha De Mel to gracefully step down from the manager post for the betterment of the Sri Lanka cricket, as under his watch the team discipline has gone for a toss in recent times!
“As Mr. Asantha De Mel has expressed his desire to resign from the post after the ongoing 2nd Galle test, Jerome is assigned for the role in West Indies” a top SLC official told Cricket Age.
After an administrative stint at Maitland place, Jerome was last year transferred at High Performance Centre (HPC) as Chief Cricket operations Officer. However, he has lately been facing many challenges in his present role, as in recent times the Sri Lanka team has plagued with countless injuries and the fitness of the players is also under scrutiny. Recently, a pool of 20 shortlisted players for West Indies tour underwent fitness tests in Colombo and eight of them did poorly, failing the tests. The list includes several permanent members in the side and some senior players. The players have now been given an ultimatum to get their act together before another fitness test on February 3rd. If they failed the second fitness test, they will be ineligible for selection for the tour of West Indies.
“He will shoulder the team manager responsibility only for the West Indies tour. By then, we will appoint a permanent team manager for the national team” the top official added.
Jerome, in past, has associated with Sri Lanka Team as interim coach and consultant and shares a good rapport with majority of players, especially seniors.
“With all these fitness and discipline issues, he can be a good manager, as he can control the dressing room” the official added further.