Colombo, 31st May 2017;
In a landmark move that augers well for the development of Women’s cricket, Sri Lanka Cricket today announced the formation of a Women’s National Development Squad.
A squad of 30 player was hand-picked based on their performance at the recently concluded inaugural women’s under 23 Provincial tournament by the Women’s National Selection Committee headed by former Captain – Rasanjali de Alwis.
The Squad which consists of talented young women from across the island were issued contracts by Sri Lanka Cricket last morning (30) at a simple ceremony attended by the players and their families who were greeted by President SLC Hon. Thilanga Sumathipala and Vice-President in charge of Domestic Cricket Mr. K. Mathivanan.
Sri Lanka Cricket has given new impetus to women’s cricket in the past year, with an entire structure being developed for the enhancement and proliferation of women’s cricket throughout the island. The project which is administered by Ms. Apsari Tillakaratne – Convenor for Women’s Cricket saw an innovative programme being carried out throughout the island over the past 18 months,
“Working with the vision of the SLC President to provide a just & fair opportunity to every talented cricketer to represent the country, we conducted Talent Search camps throughout the island, where we identified the best players from each of these camps, and then conducted an under 23 District tournament. This led to the first ever under 23 Provincial tournament, and 68 of the best players from this tournament attended a training camp in Colombo. The national selectors have selected the most promising 30 players from that evaluative camp. These 30 players will train under the Provincial coaches of their particular province under a structured 6 month programme, after which they will be evaluated again and the squad whittled down to 20” (Apsari Tillakaratne Ms.)
Women’s Cricket in Sri Lanka which had reached an all-time low was given a new lease of life by the Executive Committee, and has seen a national level plan implemented with the intention of giving women’s cricketers incentive to engage in a sport they are passionate about.
SLC Vice President K. Mathivanan who heads the pillar of Domestic Cricket under SLC’s corporate governance structure was justifiably proud of the progress that this particular area of cricket has made and paid tribute to the efforts of Ms. Tillakaratne and her team.
“I must commend Apsari and her team for their efforts in getting this programme running. It was not an easy task to travel to 25 districts across the island and convince young women to follow their passion when it presents so many challenges, but this team has managed to do exactly that.
I am happy to see the progress we have made in these few short months, the face of women’s cricket is changing and the recent school Big-Matches that conceptualised by SLC will prove that both at a domestic level and at international level Sri Lanka’s women’s cricket is going places”
Said Mr. Mathivanan. He further added,
“These 30 young players were today given an additional boost when SLC signed contracts with them, giving them a sense of security and stability without which they cannot engage in playing cricket, as it is not economically viable to them. Under this contract, SLC will provide each player a monthly allowance of Rs. 12,000/- to assist with their travel, nutrition and sports equipment.”