Lankan Women prepared to take up challenge in tough group | Daily News


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Lankan Women prepared to take up challenge in tough group

The Sri Lanka Women’s cricket team for the World T20 tournament in West Indies
The Sri Lanka Women’s cricket team for the World T20 tournament in West Indies

Sri Lanka Women cricket team captain Chamari Atapattu said that rankings didn’t matter in T20 cricket and that she was confident that they can make an impact in the ICC Women’s World T20 tournament in the West Indies from November 9-25.

Sri Lanka Women are drawn in Group A with England, West Indies, South Africa and Bangladesh.

“We have four matches in the first round and all matches were with very tough teams. We have a good combination of players with senior and junior players,” said Chamari at the press conference held at SLC yesterday prior to the team’s departure to the Caribbean.

“We have started training three months ago and playing the first match against England we are determined to make a good impact in the first round. After new coach Harsha de Silva took over he has made a lot of changes. T20 games are decided by the team that plays well on the day.”

“We have not played on the St Lucia ground and this is the first time. It’s a challenge for us and I believe ranking will not affect us in the short game like T20. We didn’t play against England since 2014 and they are a strong team ranking wise, but I believe we don’t need to bother about the rankings because we recently beat India.”

Head coach Harsha de Silva said that when he took over as coach his first task was to lift the morale of the players which was low because of the continued defeats.

“Initially I did some leadership and mental strength programs for the players to bounce back,” said de Silva.

“When compared with other countries there is a huge difference with Sri Lanka, because we don’t have lots of matches internationally or domestically. The women’s team has premier league matches with only eight teams. I don’t think it’s enough to find more players for the future,” he said.

“SLC is planning to conduct provincial matches for women cricketers as a development progress and I believe we can find more players provincials wise.”

De Silva who coached the premier men and women teams in Australia said Sri Lanka has to create more awareness at grassroot level to unearth young cricketers. “Because of some family issues most of the girls are scared to play cricket.”

De Silva said that the dearth of quality leg spinners had forced them to hire male spinners for practices in the build up towards the World T20.

Chairperson of women’s cricket and former national captain Rasanjali de Alwis said that they have given opportunities to young players.

When questioned about the exclusion of Inoka Ranaweera she said that Inoka had failed in the last couple of series and young players who had performed well have been given the opportunity. Inoka she said has been named as a standby.

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