Lankan team leaves for
Women’s World Cup today
We are better prepared this
time says coach Mendis
By Dhammika Ratnaweera
women’s team captain Shashikala Siriwardene
(Pix by Thushara Dasanayake)
The Sri Lanka women’s cricket team will leave for Australia
today for the World Cup cricket tournament scheduled to be held
from March 7 to 22 in Sydney and Canberra. This time Sri Lanka
are going there with much preparation and they also got good
practice under the guidance of head coach Chitral Mendis and
consultant coach Naveed Nawaz.
Mendis said that they had made good preparations for the World
Cup and that his players were capable of performing well in all
“They got good match practice playing against boys under 15
sides before the World Cup. My task is to qualify for the
semi-finals. If we do that it’s a great achievement for us. All
my players have a good attitude and the team spirit is very
high,” said Mendis.
“Our players are in good form especially the two openers Dedunu
de Silva and Chamari Polgampola. We expect a lot from them.
Shashikala Siriwardene is a good leader and she will also play a
key role. If our openers get good starts we can build good
totals against any opponent. Winning the first game against
England is very important. We will take in step by step from
there onwards,” he said.
Mendis also pointed out that Sri Lanka have two practice matches
against New South Wales on March 3 and against Australia on
March 4. “We have a busy schedule in this World Cup and only one
rest day before the first game against England. Anyway I got
some news that the
weather conditions in Sydney are very similar to that at home so the
players shouldn’t worry
Nawaz, 35, a former Sri Lanka and NCC cricketer said: “Our
women’s team has performed much better than what I expected from
them. As a consultant coach, in my role, I don’t think I can do
lot of technical adjustments within a short period. I don’t
think it’s wise to change anything close to the World Cup, but
only make small adjustments. I hope to change a lot of their
attitude especially preparations before and during matches. They
have also got to play with more professionalism. We want to get
their morale up and approach the World Cup with much
Nawaz also said that it was a huge challenge for the women’s
team to perform well on the bouncy Australian wickets. But
according to the tournament rules we have got England, Pakistan
and India to play in the first round. “It is very important how
we play the first round matches. It means how quickly we can
adjust to the Australian wickets and climate. Anyway it’s a huge
challenge for us. All the team members are happy and all of them
are thrilled that they have got a chance to play in a World Cup.
I think our chances are good to enter the next round of the
competition and finish within the top four.”
Nawaz also said that the players are physically fit and maintain
a good mentality. From the technical side he said that they have
not got enough international and domestic exposure compared to
other teams in the competition.
Nawaz pointed out that he had only just one week to work with
the girls before the World Cup and there wasn’t much he could
“But my duty is to assist head coach Chitral Mendis during the
World Cup,” he said.
Nawaz said that winning the tri-nation in Bangladesh and also
the home series against West Indies has raised the team’s morale
very high and that they were going with a very positive frame of
mind to Australia.