The interim committee of Sri Lanka Cricket under the leadership of former Test player D.S. De Silva has offered player contracts to twenty five women cricketers. This is the first time in the history of Sri Lanka Cricket, official contracts have been offered to women. Women’s Cricket in Sri Lanka’s dates back to the early fifties however premier cricket clubs such as the NCC and Colts CC were pioneers who encouraged women’s cricket. The game became very popular among the ladies after Sri Lanka’s world cup win in 1996. Many clubs and Mercantile firms also played a big part in popularizing the game. The women’s cricketers association headed by Mrs. Gwen Herath and her committee worked tirelessly in the early stages to help and encourage the players. The players have competed against competitive teams such as the West Indies, Australia, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan and the Netherlands.
The current administration must be commended for setting up a special department to handle women’s cricket at SLC Under the guidance of the coaching department a qualified coach namely Harsha de Silva was recruited. Today SLC has conducted competitive domestic tournaments to raise the standards. Sri Lanka Cricket also organized a soft ball tournament at district level with an objective of identifying young hopefuls for the future.
At the last world cup the ladies were impressive, however with professional guidance women’s cricket in Sri Lanka will be a force to reckon with.
Official contracts were handed over to the players during the provincial T20 finals at the Moratuwa stadium last Sunday. Secretary to the Sports Ministry S. Liyanagama and Hony Secretary of Sri Lanka Cricket Mr. Nishantha Ranatunga officiated at the simple ceremony which was telecast live on the National Television Channel.