It will be a strong Sri Lanka outfit that will mount its campaign at the 2017 ICC Women’s World Cup starting in June. The squad took wing this week following rigorous preparations based on high intensity training ahead of their WWC campaign. The ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 is from June 24 to July 23 in England and Wales.
The Sri Lanka squad led by Captain Inoka Ranaweera, has been steeled by a long phased out 30-day schedule accentuating on fitness and the finer points of the game under the watchful eye of been engaged in an intensive training programme under Head Coach Hemantha Devapriya. The significant high factor about this team is a marked change infused by an aura of new players on the blocks. Training was prioritised on a 5-day high intensity and conditioning training camp at the SLC Centre of Excellence in Kandy. Also, several practice games was a player assessment factor to the expert support staff. It helped facilitate enhancement sessions. Also, motivation and mental preparation took top billing under Professor Ranjith Bandara and Dian Gomez. Other focus was on etiquette training under Dilip de Siva, grooming & personal deportment under Michael Wijesuriya.
The pep talk by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) President, Thilanga Sumathipala prior to the squad’s departure that women’s cricket in the country would be given new impetus was indeed a shot in the arm for the sport at that level. He emphasised that this was in keeping with the overall vision of developing the game in the island aimed at recognizing promising latent talent and taking it to the next level in all age groups. 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 has also echoed satisfaction at the commitment of the women’s cricketers who he noted had gone through the mill under a very strict schedule of training, practice, recovery and also extracurricular sessions such as their motivation, etiquette and grooming sessions. Discipline has been a cornerstone slogan.
The SL WWC squad: 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.
By Srian Obeyesekere
-The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Sri Lanka Cricket-