The 53-year-old Ratnayake will replace Champaka Ramanayake in the national team which is currently facing a whitewash against India at home in a three-match Test series.
"Sri Lanka Cricket is pleased to announce the appointment of Rumesh Ratnayake as the Head of Fast Bowling for SLC," Sri Lanka Cricket said in a release.
"Ratnayake will head the National Fast Bowling programme, spearheading its talent identification, skills development and training processes in cohesion with the National High Performance plan."
Ratnayake is known for his nine-wicket haul against India in 1985/86 which resulted in Sri Lanka's inaugural Test series victory against India a series in which Ratnayake's match bag was 20 wickets.
Ratnayake whose career was cut short by injury has a innings best bowling figure of 6/66.
Meanwhile, last night, Sri Lanka Cricket conducted a motivational session for their national team ahead of this week's third and final Test.
Sri Lanka faced a barrage of criticism after being beaten by India by an innings and 53 runs last Saturday in the second Test match. The visitors had defeated Sri Lanka by 304 runs in the first Test.
To boost the sagging morale of the team, former Test great Aravinda de Silva gave the pep talk and advised the team to ignore comments on social media and gossip websites and get on with the game.
India vs Sri lankaIndia vs Sri Lanka 2017RatnayakeRumesh Ratnayakesri lanka cricketSri Lanka fast bowling coach
First Published: August 8, 2017, 4:01 PM IST