Tatyana Lee Jayaratne's father

An old article about Rohitha Rajapakse’s father-in-law

Written by renowned sports commentator late Mr. Premasara Epasinghe – Credit to Daily News – 04-04-2005

This article is about father of Tatyana Lee Jayaratne, bride of former President Mahinda Rajapakse’s son Rohitha Rajapakse. Jerome Lee Jayaratne is accomplished cricketer, coach and administrator.

Tatyana Lee Jayaratne herself is an active sports star
Tatyana Lee Jayaratne herself is an active sports woman

TODAY, he is coaching the Nation in Cricket. Why I say this is, the role he plays as Manager Coaching and Development for Sri Lanka cricket, involves many key functions, for the development of cricket in Sri Lanka.

A solid structure with a Master Plan for National Cricket Coaching Industry in the country was seen an essential requirement by Sri Lanka cricket. Therefore, SLC appointed him as Manager Development/Head Coach (Max Cricket Academy). He is Jerome Jayaratne – Unassuming Thomian and National Cricketer.

In featuring him, it is interesting to analyse his functional areas and accountabilities.


Jerome Jayaratne’s main accountabilities are many. He plays the main role in assisting his charges to improve their skills and enhance their personal performances.

His main aim is to create improvement, so that, a batsman scores more runs; a bowler takes more wickets; a fieldsman takes more catches, saves more runs in the fieled and seizes more opportunities to create run-outs.

He is in charge of Max Cricket Academy. Added to this, he is formulating coaching manuals and syllabuses, conducting level 1-3 coaching education programs, structure for talent scouting islandwide.

Monitoring district and provincial coaches islandwide, identifying areas for development and improvement, ensuring “uniformity” in the coaching industry, “Education structure” for coaches islandwide, perodical updates on new coaching methods and techniques, circulation of “Tutorials” on educational material to coaches etc.

Jayaratne, worked in conjunction with Global Development Manager to support the effective and efficient delivery of International Cricket Council Development Program in the domains of coach education, promotion and marketing, research, resource development, tournaments and special projects. He worked at the ICC as a project officer development.

After retiring from first class cricket in April 1997, he joined his “Alma Meter” S’Thomas’ College, Mount Lavania, as the first XI cricket coach and Director of Sports. One of the highlights during his tenure of office as coach, was that S’Thomas’ College annexed the All-Island Inter-School Cricket Championship in 1998.

Played under Aravinda-Roshan-Arjuna

Jayaratne represented Sri Lanaka as a member of the under 19 team, which toured Australia in February 1984 under the captaincy of Aravinda de Silva. He opened bowling and was a middle order batsman.

In June/July 1984, he was a member of the Australian tour under the captaincy of Roshan Mahanama, for a four day test. In the one day series, he was appointed as the vice-captain.

In 1985, under the captaincy of Arjuna Ranatunga, the 19 years old Jerome was a member of the Under 23 Sri Lankan National Cricket Team.

His performance in the 1984 Australian Tour enabled him to sign a contract with sub-district cricket club in Melbourne. Dandenong Cricket Club, and thus he became the only overseas recruit professional cricketer for three seasons.

In the first year itself, he had the highest batting aggregate, highest individual score and the highest batting aggregate. The Dandenong Cricket Club recruited Desmond Haynes of West Indies, in 1982/1983.

In his cricket career, Jayaratne had the proud distinction of playing against and with, such reputed International Players- Steve & Mark Waught Twins, Mark Taylor, Tom Moody, Paul Riffle and Craig McDermott (Australia) Wasim Akram, Salim Malik, Ijaz Ahamed, Rameez Raja, Mansoor Elahi and Akram Raza (Pakistan), Mark, Benson, Olly Motenson and Ashley Metcalf (England).

“I learned a lot by playing with Internationally reputed first class-players. It is an experience, stated Jayaratne.

Outstanding schoolboy cricketer

Jerome Lee Jayaratne was born on 30th January 1966. He attended S’Thomas’ College, Mount Lavania, from 1971 to 1984. He started playing competitive cricket at the age of 11 years and throughout his schooling, he played in the under 13, 15 and 17 age groups and represented the school in all major cricket tournaments.

He was awarded first-XI college colours for two consecutive years – 1983 & 1984. In 1984 Thomian Team was awarded the Runner-up certificate in the Best Team category for schools in the country. He was an outstanding promising schoolboy cricketer.

Although the Thomians lost the 104th Royal-Thomian by 10 wickets which was played at the P. Sara Stadium on 10th, 11th and 12th March 1983, Jayaratne bowled best and returned the figures of 22-09-50-04 in the first innings.

Victorious Royal Team was led by C. Amarasinghe and S’Thomas’ College was captained by Kapila Wijegunawardena, who later represented Sri Lanka. Others who played with Jayaratne, were S. Mathangaweera, D. Bulankulame, A. Seneviratne, K. Kannangaa, G. Tissera, K. Amalean, M. Marzook, S. Thevanayagam and S. Samarakkody.

After leaving school, Jayaratne joined CCC and played for them for 10 years. In 1996, he captained and coached the Colombo Cricket Club, and emerged the winners of Division I Premier League Championship.

At the Conclusion of the 1996 season team was recorded with a cricket tour to U.K. and he captained the CCC Team. They played nine matches on tour and remained unbeaten. In 1994, Colombo Cricket Club toured Australia and he was a member of the Team.

Highly Qualified cricket coach

Jayaratne is a highly qualified cricket coach in Sri Lanka. He followed many courses in Australia and England and obtained the highest professional qualifications.

In April 1999, in Sydney, he obtained the coaching certificate as Australian Cricket Board level 3. Further, in 2000, he obtained the ACB level 2 certificate and level 2 coaching principles certificate in Victoria and awarded the England Cricket Board level 3 cricket coaching certificate at Lilleshall England in 2001.

A teetotaller and Non-smoker Jayaratne, improved his cricketing knowledge by participating in many seminars and training courses. He is a committed student of cricket. Unassuming Jerome is thorough gentleman, and a man of honest and integrity and a disciplinarian.

He represented Sri Lanka cricket, where, he is employed presently, in an International Cricket Development Seminar, conducted by Asian cricket council and International Cricket Council (ICC). This seminar was held at Lahore, Pakistan in May 2004.

In June 2003, he attended MRF Pace Foundation cricket coaching seminar in Chennai, India and played a leading role in the International Cricket coaches seminar held in September 2002 at Colombo.

Further, he participated, in the 6th Asian Congress of sports medicine “Physiotherapy in Sports,” held in September 2002 in Colombo.

In December 2004, Max Cricket Academy played three matches in Bangladesh four day game and two one day 50 over matches against Bangladesh – High Performance squad. The academy emerging team.

He moulded the emerging cricket team of Sri Lanka to greater heights. More of these talented cricketers outstation stars.

Jayaratne, followed a course on Physiotherapy in sports at the 6th Asian Congress of Sports medicine held in Colombo in October 2003.

Sri Lanka Max Cricket Academy, under the able guidance of Jayaratne, toured UAE in December 2004.

The tour consisted of three one day 50 over games and a four day game against the United Arab Emirates National Cricket Team.

The Academy Team coached by Jerome, won the one day series (2-1) and emerged winners of the Ten Sports Trophy. They concluded the tour by successfully defeating the UAE National Cricket Team in the four day encounter.

Jayaratne’s parents are P.L. Jayaratne and D. Jayaratne. Four in the family with Jerome. They are Gale Selwin, Sandy, Crystal Fernando.

(In my article written on Ranil Abeynaike on 28th March 2005, I have mentioned the name David Ponniah as one of Ranil’s Coaches. It should read George Ponniah. Error is regretted).

Adapted from Daily News

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