Manuja Kariyapperuma appointed Sri Lanka’s Interim Team Manager, Maharoof eyes on Permanent Position

Written by N Krishnamurthy

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) women’s team coordinator Manuja Kariyapperuma has been appointed Interim manager of the national team for the Bangladesh series, Cricket Age reliably learns.

The Bangladesh cricket team arrived on Monday to play a two-match Test series which was postponed from last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The visiting team will be in a bio-bubble at a resort in the western coastal town of Negombo before playing a two-day warm-up game at Katunayake. The first match will be played from April 21 to 25 at Pallekele. The second Test will also be played at the same venue from April 29. The two matches are part of the World Test Championships.

“Mr. Manuja was appointed only for the Bangladesh series, until we finalize the permanent manager for the national team. We have already advertised for the post” a top SLC official told Cricket Age.

Meanwhile, former Sri Lanka all rounder Farveez Maharoof  is also eyeing for the post. A former U19 manager and junior selector, Maharoof, over the years, has made it a habit to apply for every position at Maitland Place. Good with everyone, Maharoof takes breakfast with Interim committee people, lunch at Punchi Borrela and dinner at Colombo Cricket Club (CCC). He had secured Junior selector post by sitting outside then Sports Minister Harin Fernando’s cabin. Later, he became U19 team manager, this time through Shammi Silva led administration recommendation. As government changed, he rushed to welcome Namal Rajapaksa at Sports Ministry, along with a former off-spinner.

“Right after applying for the post, Maharoof is trying hard to secure the job. In last few days, he has met everyone – from Shammi to present SLC chairman Professor Arjuna De Silva, who is coincidentally his good friend. In addition, he has arranged dozen of Interviews for himself as well, for promoting himself for the manager post” a Sri Lanka Cricket expert told Cricket Age

Interestingly, Maharoof’s tenure as U19 team manager was full of controversies! A former player with multi tasking abilities, Maharoof’s association as U19 team manager in past motivated players to focus on taking alcohol and carrying whiskey bottles, instead of concentrating on their games. When he was the team manager, three U19 players in September 2019 were found drunk in their hotel room after team’s semifinal clash against India was washed out at P. Sara Stadium, Colombo.

Then, in November 2019, Cricket Age had published a story, exposing how a team management member ordered returning players from the Bangladesh (after the conclusion of 4-day matches) to carry custom free whisky bottles with them, along with other accessories like – men trouser boxes. Cricket Age had exposed that only two team management members – manager and junior selector Farveez Maharoof and school cricket association secretary Dilshan De Silva – were aware about the whisky bottles matter.

After Cricket Age expose, SLC  secretary Mohan De Silva had immediately ordered for an inquiry in this serious matter. However, as per the normal procedure, soon SLC stopped the investigation midway through.

“Maharoof’s conduct as U19 manager in past must be kept in mind, before fulfilling and obeying Outside Influential people’s agendas.  Nothing wrong if present board management committee chairman Professor Arjuna De Silva shares close rapport with him. But, before finalizing national team manager, he must be aware of Maharoof’s past performance as U19 manager. Otherwise, Professor Arjuna De Silva’s good reputation will also be tarnished” an insider at SLC told Cricket Age.


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N Krishnamurthy