By Champika Fernando
Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) is to undertake a major overhaul of its National Women’s Cricket Team, coaching staff and the selectors following a series of mediocre performances in recent months.
The Sri Lanka Women’s Cricket Team have suffered heavily across the limited over formats losing all but four matches in their 29 outings since May 2015 which has forced SLC to rethink their strategy for the ladies game.
Among the victories were three T20 wins out of 14 outings including two at the T20 World Cup and a solitary 50-over win in 15 outings – an alarming record from the country’s top women cricketers.
Though taken seriously elsewhere in the world, Sri Lanka has paid little attention to Women’s cricket in drawing up plans for a robust domestic tournament but has spent millions of rupees on the National Team.
According to sources Board spend around Rs. 60 million on Women’s cricket per annum — an investment which had hardly bore any satisfactory results over the years.
According to sources, the Board would sack the Team Coach Lanka de Silva after the team’s abysmal performance against Australia Women’s at home last month where they lost the ODI series (0-4) and the one-off T20 by ten-wickets to hand Australians a record win and a place at the 2019 ICC World Cup.
De Silva, a former Sri Lanka Test Cricketer replaced Jeevantha Kulatunga in July 2015, after SLC did not renew the latter’s contract.
The Board will also sack the team of selectors led by Vinothen John and will appoint a fresh committee to take charge.
Sri Lanka are currently ranked 8th in the ICC Women’s Rankings, just ahead of Bangladesh and Ireland.
“It has been a colossal waste of money and we are very seriously considering making a complete overhaul to answer some the immediate issues. Of course, we do understand other issues like the need for proper domestic competitions both at schools and club levels which we are currently working on,” said a top SLC official.
“But the current standard are alarming and we are not happy with the current team management and the team of selectors. We will replace them soon”.
Following Sri Lanka’s capitulation to Australia Women, Sri Lanka Coach Lanka de Silva criticized the domestic format which allows a maximum of five matches a season and urged authorities to draw up a more robust domestic competition to lift the dropping standard of the Women’s game.
Sources also said the Board is currently in the process of convincing leading girls schools in Colombo and suburbs to take into the game of cricket.
“We are trying to see whether we can start Big Matches between leading schools in Colombo. This way we can get the enthusiasm going,” the sources added.