Sri Lanka Cricket has appointed former quick Rumesh Ratnayake to the top fast-bowling coaching job in the country. As SLC’s head of fast bowling, Ratnayake will work closely with Sri Lanka’s high-performance centre, and will oversee the work of the board’s other fast-bowling coaches, including whoever is posted with the national team. He may not himself work and tour with the Sri Lanka side, however.
“Ratnayake will head the national fast-bowling programme, spearheading its talent identification, skills development and training processes in cohesion with the national high-performance plan,” an SLC release said.
Ratnayake’s appointment does not have any immediate impact on Chaminda Vaas, who is the fast-bowling coach presently working with the national team. SLC cricket manager Asanka Gurusinha did state, however, that the fast-bowling coach embedded with the Sri Lanka side may change from tour to tour.
“All the fast-bowling coaches will work under Rumesh,” Gurusinha told ESPNcricinfo. “We will then work with the high-performance centre to get the specialist coaches in whenever the national team needs. We will take specialists to different tours. If the head coach says, ‘I want so-and-so’, we will put a request to high performance and get that coach.”
Ratnayake’s most recent high-profile coaching position with Sri Lanka was during the 2015 World Cup, where he worked as a supplementary fast-bowling coach with the national team, also alongside Vaas. He had also been interim head coach during Australia’s tour to Sri Lanka in 2011.
One of the fastest Sri Lanka bowlers in the 1980s, Ratnayake had taken 73 Test wickets at an average of 35.10 during his playing career.