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'Happy to do it': Sanath Jayasuriya appointed as Sri Lanka's interim coach ahead of series against India

Sanath Jayasuriya, former Sri Lanka captain, has been appointed interim head coach of the national cricket team ahead of their upcoming white-ball series against India, starting later this month.

Happy to do it Sanath Jayasuriya to replace Chris Silverwood as head coach of Sri Lankan cricket team snt
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First Published Jul 8, 2024, 2:17 PM IST

Sanath Jayasuriya, former Sri Lanka captain, has been appointed interim head coach of the national cricket team ahead of their upcoming white-ball series against India, starting later this month. The Indian team is scheduled to play three T20 Internationals and as many ODIs in Sri Lanka, beginning July 27.

Jayasuriya, known for his explosive batting as an opener, takes over after Englishman Chris Silverwood resigned as Sri Lanka's head coach following a disappointing T20 World Cup campaign where Sri Lanka exited in the league stage.

Having previously served as chief selector, Jayasuriya will also lead Sri Lanka's Test tour to England, according to the 'Daily Mirror' newspaper.

“I have been asked to take over coaching and I am happy to do it,” Jayasuriya told AFP.

Sanath Jayasuriya, a former Test and ODI captain and national selector, will assume coaching duties after the conclusion of the ongoing T20 Lanka Premier League on July 21.

Known as one of the most aggressive batsmen of his era, Jayasuriya recently acted as a consultant for the team during the 2024 T20 World Cup held in the USA and the Caribbean.

Jayasuriya's illustrious career spanned 110 Tests from 1991 to 2007, where he amassed 6,973 runs at an average of 40.07, including 14 centuries and 31 half-centuries.

In ODIs, the left-handed batsman accumulated 13,430 runs in 445 matches, averaging 32.36, with 28 centuries and 68 half-centuries to his name.

A pivotal figure in Sri Lanka's victorious 1996 ODI World Cup campaign, Jayasuriya also served as a Member of Parliament from 2010 to 2015.

Former England coach Chris Silverwood, 49, resigned citing personal reasons, as confirmed by Sri Lanka Cricket, which acknowledged his significant contributions during his tenure.

During Silverwood's tenure starting from April 2022, Sri Lanka clinched the T20 Asia Cup and advanced to the final of the 50-over Asia Cup in 2023. However, their campaigns in the T20 World Cup 2022 and the previous year's 50-over World Cup ended prematurely.

Former skipper Mahela Jayawardena also stepped down as a consultant coach last month.

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