COLOMBO: The Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) board had on Saturday (June 11), officially confirmed the appointment of Jerome Jayaratne as the Chief operating officer (COO) of the SLC with immediate effect. The statement released by the board acknowledged that the members of the board’s governing council has faith in the new COO and that it expects Jerome to take the likes of cricket in Sri Lanka to the next level.
Jayaratne had earlier worked with the Srilankan board at two instances. He was first associated with the board in 2000, before becoming the head coach of the Srilankan cricket team in 2008.
The new COO of SLC was also a former cricketer of Sri Lanka. Jerome had represented Under-19 and Under-23 sides for Sri Lanka, in a career that spanned five years. The former all-rounder scalped 34 wickets from 22 matches in his first-class career.
Earlier, in 2015 he was named the interim coach of the national team following the resignation of the then head coach Marvan Atapattu. He worked as the interim coach for the home series against the West Indies and also the New Zealand series that followed up.
Speaking on his appointment, Jayaratne said that he would be working to his best to raise the standards of cricket in Sri Lanka. “We have a lot of issues in the current scenario. If you look at the national team there aren’t many senior players there, to guide the youngsters. They have to be properly nurtured in order to bring out the best in them. So, our goals are mainly focused on developing the standards of cricket in Sri lanka, right from the domestic level so that we don’t face the similar issue again in the near future”.
When asked about his plans to tackle ‘lack of guidance’ he said, “Guidance is always there for us, from outside. What we lack is guidance within the team. Our team lacks experienced players as most of them like Sanga (Kumara Sangakkara), have already retired. However, we are also looking to utilize the services of our senior players to shape-up the current team”.