Former fast bowler turns down assistant coach position June 23, 2007

SL board disappointed by Ratnayake's withdrawal

Jayantha Dharmadasa, the chairman of Sri Lanka Cricket, has expressed disappointment at the withdrawal of Rumesh Ratnayake as assistant coach of the Sri Lankan team.

Ratnayake, the former Sri Lankan fast bowler, had signed a four-year contract with Sri Lanka Cricket nearly a month ago to become assistant coach, replacing the outgoing coach Trevor Penney. But in a complete u-turn Ratnayake has stated in a letter that he is unable to accept the position due to family commitments.

"I am very disappointed with Rumesh's decision. We have been trying to get his services for the past two years and when he decided to sign with us to become assistant coach we were extremely happy," said Dharmadasa. "We have been criticised for not contracting former cricketers for the job of coach. This is what we get in return when we try to open the doors for them."

Dharmadasa said that he had great difficulty in getting Ratnayake released from his present position as development officer of the Asian Cricket Council of which Dharmadasa is the chairman. He said that Trevor Bayliss, who has signed a two-year contract with SLC to become Sri Lanka's next head coach, will be given the opportunity to find a suitable assistant.