Sri Lanka news January 28, 2015

Ratnayake to aid SL World Cup preparations

Rumesh Ratnayake had taken over as Sri Lanka's interim head coach in 2011 © Manoj Ridimahaliyadda

Sri Lanka Cricket has appointed former fast bowler Rumesh Ratnayake as a consultant coach for the early stages of the team's World Cup campaign. Ratnayake will be with the team from February 4 to February 20 and will assist the existing coaching set-up, led by Marvan Atapattu, with World Cup preparations.

"SLC has made the inclusion taking into consideration the views of the chairman of selectors and the national team management," an official release said. "All other support staff personnel will remain intact with the squad."

The appointment is in part a response to Sri Lanka's woeful tour of New Zealand, in which the team has lost six out of seven completed matches, including four of the five ODIs. Ratnayake's expertise is expected to be particularly relevant to the bowling attack, which has been especially vulnerable in the series.

Ratnayake has previously held coaching positions with the Sri Lanka side, most recently taking over as interim head coach in 2011, following Trevor Bayliss' departure after the last World Cup. He has also been a development officer for the Asian Cricket Council in the past. During his scheduled time with Sri Lanka, the team will play two warm-up matches and the curtain-raiser against New Zealand, on February 14.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando