Sanath Jayasuriya
Sanath Jayasuriya, a former Test and ODI captain, had also been a national selector. Image Credit: AFP

Colombo: Former Sri Lanka skipper and one-time chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya was appointed on Monday to replace head coach Chris Silverwood, who quit following the country’s early exit from the T20 World Cup.

Sri Lanka Cricket said Jayasuriya, 55, will be the “interim” coach until a full-time appointment is made for the national team.

Jayasuriya said he would coach the national squad ahead of a white-ball series against India this month and Sri Lanka’s tour of England in August.

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

Jayasuriya, a former Test and ODI captain, had also been a national selector.

Sri Lanka Cricket chief executive Ashley de Silva said the appointment was with immediate effect.

“Sanath, with his wealth of international cricketing experience, is well positioned to guide the national team, until we find a permanent solution,” de Silva said in a statement.

'Personal reasons'

Jayasuriya represented Sri Lanka 586 times across the three formats of the game, hitting 42 centuries and taking 440 wickets. He played his last international in 2011.

Former England coach Silverwood, 49, quit for “personal reasons”, according to Sri Lanka Cricket, which thanked him for his “valuable contributions during his tenure”.

Sri Lanka won only one match at the T20 World Cup tournament, against the Netherlands, and finished third in their group behind South Africa and Bangladesh.

Silverwood took over in April 2022 and enjoyed immediate success, as Sri Lanka won the T20 Asia Cup later that year.

They reached the final of the 50-over Asia Cup in 2023.

But they failed to make it to the knockout stages of the T20 World Cup in 2022 and last year’s 50-over World Cup.

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