ICC WOMEN’S T20 WORLD CUP
The on eve departure of the Sri Lanka Women’s Cricket squad to participate in the 7th T 20 World Cup in Australia took a cutting edge at Sri Lanka Cricket’s headquarters press confab yesterday. From the significance of Sri Lanka Cricket’s partnership with MAS Holdings which had not only produced the team jersey from recycled plastic from the coastal belt for the mega event, but also empowered and encouraged the national women’s team through its innovative Diriya Denna initiative which was hailed by SLC Secretary Mohan de Silva, to the Sri Lanka Women’s Team Captain, Chamari optimistically voicing that ‘we have empowered ourselves and expect to produce the unexpected at the world cup, and that having four very young players in the squad was not undermining.
“I believe age is not a barrier. If the younger players drafted to the squad are talented that is what matters that they are capable of performing on the big stage.” The skipper was fielding a media question as to why four older players had got the chop in preference for younger, inexperienced players. She was seconding the stand taken by Head Coach, Harsha de Silva that it was latent talent that mattered irrespective of how young a player was and that the decision to include four young players was the right decision in the greater interest of the team.
The proceedings took off with Sri Lanka Cricket’s Secretary, Mohan de Silva welcoming MAS Holdings partnership with SLC of which SLC was privileged from a fruitful, longstanding relationship of over 12 years with MAS Holdings. He thanked MAS Holdings for its support for women’s cricket which, further leveraged their partnership with SLC through its Diriya Denna Campaign in creating greater public awareness to rally behind the team.
The Head of Women’s Empowerment, Advocacy and Code of Conduct of MAS, Thanuja Jayawardene announced that MAS Holdings had aligned its partnership with its Diriya Denna initiative empowering and encouraging not only ‘our sportswomen, but young girls and women across Sri Lanka to fearlessly pursue any path, challenge stereotypes and become leaders for our nation. “By promoting the game and rallying the country around our women’s team, we also want to emphasise the importance and impact of women in representing Sri Lanka internationally,” she said while adding that the Diriya Denna campaign will continue throughout 2020, beyond the national jersey sponsorship with MAS implementing a number of up-skilling, multi-skilling, motivational training, personal development, leadership, communication and educational programmes for the national women’s cricket team. “The initiative is implemented through MAS’ globally acclaimed Women Go Beyond programme, aligned with the company’s sustainability agenda for gender equality and women’s empowerment to nurture strong female role models for future generations, ” she further stressed while elaborating that the Ocean Plastics initiative was launched as a long-term solution for Sri Lanka’s pressing marine pollution issue. The national cricket jersey was produced by MAS from polyester yarn made of the up cycled PET plastics recovered from the coastal belt of Sri Lanka. The breakthrough fabric was also used to produce the Sri Lanka national men’s cricket team jerseys for the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup.
Meanwhile, Sharika Senanayake, Director Environmental Sustainability said, “Our sustainability efforts are long term investments across all facets of our operation. Over the past three decades, MAS has continued to invest in innovative and visionary sustainable initiatives focused on people, products and processes. MAS’ empowerment of the national women’s cricket team is one instance where all three facets have come together. We will continue to embed our environmental and social commitments into our manufacturing process to reap greater results and benefits for all stakeholders involved.”
Sri Lanka Team’s Match Schedule
22nd February, 2020 – vs New Zealand
24th February, 2020 – vs Australia
29th February, 2020 – vs India
02nd March, 2020 – vs Bangladesh
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-