Conflict among senior players, lack of team unity downfall of women’s cricket - Devapriya | Daily News
Coach resigns following shock loss to Thailand:

Conflict among senior players, lack of team unity downfall of women’s cricket - Devapriya

Hemantha Devapriya as coach presents Sri Lanka Women’s cricketer Shashikala Siriwardene with a cap to mark her 100th ODI appearance.
Hemantha Devapriya as coach presents Sri Lanka Women’s cricketer Shashikala Siriwardene with a cap to mark her 100th ODI appearance.

Sri Lanka women’s cricket team coach Hemantha Devapriya who resigned from his position with immediate effect yesterday said that the failure to promote youngsters into the national team and conflict amongst senior players were main causes for the downfall of Sri Lanka women’s cricket today.

The national team hit an all-time low when they were defeated by four wickets by Thailand, a team without any international status yet in the Women’s T20 Asia Cup match played in Kuala Lumpur and failed to qualify for the final finishing fourth out of six teams with two wins and three losses. Thailand incidentally was coached by a Sri Lankan, former fast bowler Janak Gamage who played four ODIs for the country in 1995.

“I’ve decided that enough is enough and decided to step down from my position immediately after that defeat,” Devapriya told the Daily News. “We have not performed well in the last three series against West Indies, Pakistan and the Asia Cup. The side needs big changes if we are to be ready for the next World Cup but those changes are not forthcoming despite me including the shortcomings in my tour reports time and again.

“We need to build a young side and with Sri Lanka Cricket now promoting the game at school level there is a lot of young players coming through but what we see is the same players being picked for every series,” Devapriya lamented.

“There is no unity in the present team as seniors have a lot of conflicts within them. As a result there is no consistency in performances. Most of the players are unfit and when you talk to them they treat everything in a negative manner which has a very bad effect on the younger players,” Devapriya added.

“I have been handling this team for the past 18 months and unless the selectors bring in youngsters who are now being taught the game at a younger age and will be able to perform better, I can’t see the side improving from what it is today. We have been in this situation for a long time and radical changes have to be made if we are to move forward,” Devapriya a former Sri Lanka wicket-keeper/batsman and coach for the past 17 years said.

Devapriya has been handling coaching with CCC, NCC, Fingara Cricket Academy before undertaking the role of head coach of Sri Lanka ‘A’ and then the women’s team.

“Whilst thanking Devapriya for his services, SLC will start the process of engaging a new coach to take the women’s team forward,’’ Ashley de Silva, CEO of Sri Lanka Cricket, said.

Sri Lanka Women’s next international engagement is hosting Indian Women in September and then playing in the World T20 in the West Indies in November.


 

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