Australian Trevor Bayliss was named on Friday as Sri Lanka's head coach on a two-year contract.
Bayliss, 44, was appointed soon after making a presentation to a committee comprising several former Sri Lanka captains. He starts the job in August.
"The committee, which included Aravinda de Silva, Sidath Wettimuny, Michael Tissera, Anura Tennekoon and Duleep Mendis, were very impressed with his presentation," board chairman Jayantha Dharmadasa told reporters.
Bayliss, who takes over from fellow Australian Tom Moody, has been coach of Australian state New South Wales for the last three years.
Moody led Sri Lanka to the final of this year's World Cup but turned down an offer of a renewed contract last month to spend more time with his family and take over as coach of Western Australia.
Winners in 1996, Sri Lanka lost out to Australia in a rain-shortened final in Barbados.
Bayliss had been shortlisted for the job with Queensland coach Terry Oliver after recommendations from Moody.
Sri Lanka Cricket wasted no time in confirming the appointment after the final selection was made.
"When we knew how good he was, we signed him up immediately because there are a lot of countries head-hunting for coaches at present," board secretary K Mathivanan told reporters.
The new coach's first international assignment will be the Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa in September.
Bayliss is the fifth coach from Australia to take charge of Sri Lanka since Dav Whatmore joined in 1995, a list that also includes Bruce Yardley, John Dyson and Tom Moody.
Bayliss had a modest record as a first-class batsman for New South Wales, playing 58 matches and scoring over 3000 runs at 35.98 with five hundreds and 15 fifties.
Former Sri Lanka fast bowler Rumesh Ratnayake has been appointed assistant coach to Bayliss, taking over from Trevor Penny who is also joining Western Australia.