ICC WOMEN’S T20 WORLD CUP 2020
The Head Coach of the Sri Lanka Women’s Cricket Team, Harsha de Silva said that the build up to Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 in Australia in was arduous but he was hopeful that there were plus points to fielding a potential outfit.
“Given the limitations against tougher opposition it is a tough call, but we are doing our homework to give it our best try. Our recent performances in Nepal at the South Asian Games tournament where Sri Lanka emerged runners-up for a silver medal has given us certain options in naming a strong team. There were so many positives with several young hopefuls such as Harshitha Madavi, the captain and Umasha Imashini, who opened the batting and bowls off spin, Ravisha Dilhari another all-rounder, Tarika Sevandi, a left arm medium fast bowler, Sathya Sandeepani, the off spinner and Sachini Nisansala, left arm spinner who caught the eye” he quipped in an exclusive interview with srilankasrilankacricket.lk
He added that he had prioritised for players to train to gear to Australian conditions. “It is very difficult to stimulate Aussie conditions because we require faster pitches. One aspect of the training is inviting men’s age group fast bowlers and leg spinners to bowl to the prospective players who will make the tour. The Group A in which Sri Lanka is in has sides such as Australia and New Zealand with top fast bowlers and leggies,” he reasoned.
The coach voiced that the first goal would be to plan to make it to the semi-finals by getting among the top two teams in Group A that Sri Lanka is drawn. “To reach the semis we need to beat teams like India and Bangladesh. Tough as it is, a plus point is that we have beaten them in the past, and if we do so this time it gives us a strong chance of reaching the semi-finals,” Harsha de Silva further contended while adding that ‘we are looking to create an upset against Australia and New Zealand and to do so our bowlers and batters will need to perform to their top potential. In the batting skipper Chamari Atapattu and Harshitha Madavi are in good nick. Chamari got two centuries against the Australians in a T20 and ODI in the recent tour down under while Harshitha pleasingly displayed fine form with some match winning performances including a century in Nepal.’
As a part of preparations, he said, “We have been trying out different combinations. While Chamarie adds fusion upfront as an opener Harshitha has cemented the No.3 slot. We have eight specialist batters with three openers in mind and five who can bat from 3 to 6. There are five bowlers and two all-rounder’s including seasoned campaigner Shashikala Siriwardena.”
While stressing the point that ‘we have some promising emerging players which augured well for the future’, the Head Coach said that a provisional squad of 20 would be finalised from which the final 15 would be named in the first week of January, 2020.
Sri Lanka, in Group A is drawn alongside reigning champions Australia, New Zealand, India and Bangladesh. They will play two practice games before fronting their tournament opening match against New Zealand on February 24at Perth followed by a Day/Night against India on February 29at Melbourne and Bangladesh on March 2 at the same venue.
In Group B are England, South Africa, West Indies, Pakistan and Thailand.
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-