Colombo, 6 th June 2017
The Sri Lanka Women’s National Team (WNT) will follow in the footsteps of their male counterparts when they travel to Kandy today (6) for a 5-day high intensity & conditioning training camp at the SLC Centre of Excellence – Kandy.
The Women’s National team, led by Captain Inoka Ranaweera, have been engaged in an intensive training programme under Head Coach Hemantha Devapriya over the past 30 days, the pre-tournament workup has included several practice games that have assisted the resource staff in identifying areas of concern in order to create targeted enhancement sessions.
In addition to the on-field training, the National Women’s team have been privileged to experience sessions in motivation and mental preparation under the mentorship of Professor Ranjith Bandara and Mr. Dian Gomez, Etiquette training with Mr. Dilip de Siva, and Grooming & personal deportment with Mr. Michael Wijesuriya.
Addressing the squad at the SLC Headquarters on Sunday (4) evening, President SLC, Hon. Thilanga Sumathipala expressed the commitment & support of the Executive Committee toward the development of Women’s Cricket in Sri Lanka in keeping with the ICC’s bid to bridge the disparity between men’s and women’s cricket globally.
“As a responsible governing body, our focus is on the development of the sport [of cricket] in Sri Lanka. Cricket belongs to us all, men, women and children, and in keeping with our vision to give every single talented cricketer a just and fair opportunity to represent the country, we are committed to provide new impetus to women’s cricket.
This squad has been given every possible technical and resource support possible, and I believe the training camp coming up in Kandy will further enhance [your] skills. The reports we are receiving from the resource team led by Mr. Devapriya have shown us that we have advanced strides from where we were.
At domestic level, we have just engaged our first contracted emerging squad, who will be guided and trained through our Provincial coaching structure in readiness to take their place at National level when the time comes.
Our plan for the development of Women’s Cricket is a structured one, and we are committed to the development of the sport throughout our island” (Hon. Thilanga Sumathipala)
Head Coach Hemantha Devapriya was complementary of the hard work that had been put in by the squad and stated;
“I am [quite] pleased with the effort and commitment that the girls have put in over the last month. We have had them on a very strict schedule of training, practice, recovery and also extracurricular sessions such as their motivation, etiquette and grooming sessions. The girls have committed 100% and I’m sure that after this residential programme in Kandy, they will be as ready as we can make them to face the challenge of the Women’s World Cup.
I must say the resources and support that have been given to this squad from SLC has been fantastic. Women’s Cricket has long taken a back-seat in the scheme of things, and the girls were a deflated bunch a few months ago, but the time and effort SLC is investing in them, has motivated them to give of their best for their country, and I hope to see some very exciting days ahead” (Hemantha Devapriya)
National Captain Inoka Ranaweera shared the thoughts of the team and thanked the Board for its unprecedented support;
“We are indeed grateful to the President and to SLC for this unprecedented support. Although cricket is our passion, and we have given our best to represent our country, we have always felt that there is very little support for us.
The 5-day camp in Kandy will really help us to acclimatize, and we have even been given the opportunity to go to England 5 days early, which will make a huge difference to our performance.
We are now being given the same resources as the men’s national team, and this shows us that [the] SLC believes in us, we will do our best to justify this faith in us by giving our best in this tournament” (Inoka Ranaweera)
The WWC squad consists of;
Inoka Ranaweera (Captain) Prasadani Weerakkodi (Vice Captain) Shashikala Sriwardena, Chamari Athapaththu, Eshani Lokusooriya, Dilani Manodara, Sripali Weerakkody, Udeshika Prabodani Nipuni Hansika, Hasini Perera, Oshadi Ranasinghe, Harshitha Madawi, Ama Kanchana, Chamari Polgampola and Chandima Gunarathne with standbys Inoshi Fernando, Hansima Karunaratne Madushika Meththananda, Anushka Sanjewani and Sugandika Kumari.
The five-day high intensity residential camp emulates the programme created for the men’s national team and will create opportunity for the specialist coaches and trainers to work with the ladies both as a team as well as individually. Focus will be given to key areas with batting being overseen by Head Coach Hemantha Devapriya, Spin Bowling by Asst. Coach Oshadee Weerasingha, Fast Bowling by Ravindra Pushpakumara and Fielding by Lanka de Silva who have prepared intensive schedules based on individual requirements of each player.
The team is also scheduled to engage in religious observances at the Sri Dalada Maligawa on Poson Poya (8) whilst in Kandy. The team departs Sri Lanka on the 13th of June 2017, and will be meeting the press on the 12th June at 5 pm at a press briefing to be held in Colombo (Details to follow)