Raw deal for netball winning coach | Sunday Observer

Raw deal for netball winning coach

Thilaka Jinadasa is greeted by her jubilant players with the Asia Cup won in Singapore last week in the presence of Trixie Nanayakkara
Thilaka Jinadasa is greeted by her jubilant players with the Asia Cup won in Singapore last week in the presence of Trixie Nanayakkara

Asian title winning Sri Lanka netball coach Thilaka Jinadasa is facing an un-ceremonial exit ahead of the World Cup in 2019 for which her team qualified by way of winning the regional crown.

According to the Sri Lanka Netball Federation’s constitution the coach can only be around for one year without any extension. Jinadasa’s contract ends on January 15 next year before the World Cup starts.

Jinadasa said that when Sri Lanka won the last Asian championship in 2009 she could not make it to the World Cup due to what she said was a ‘personal grudge’.

“It was politics then and I took up a stint in Brunei”, she said.

“After Trixe Nanayakara became the head of the Netball Federation I was appointed as the coach amid some obstacles and I expected to continue until the 2019 World Cup”.

The netball World Cup will be held from July 12–21, 2019 in Liverpool, England.

“Every country appoints their national coach for two years and our Constitution should change. I hope they will do this for the betterment of Sri Lanka netball”, said Jinadasa.

Jinadasa represented Sri Lanka in the women’s 110m Hurdles at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

She spent nine years guiding the Brunei team to become a winning outfit bringing them up in the Asian rankings. Trixie Nanayakkara was the Secretary while Ajantha Wijesekara was President of the Netball Federation from August 2008 to May 2010 when Sri Lanka won the Asian Championship in 2009 under Jinadasa’s coaching.

The majority of the Sri Lankan sports fans and the netball fraternity contend that Jinadasa should be the ideal choice to be with the Sri Lanka team at the 2019 World Cup.

Current national players are likely to also take up Jinadasa’s case and press for her presence at the World Cup.

They say Jinadasa reunited the team with a combination of senior and junior players and had accomplished her target. “We request the Sri Lanka Netball Federation to continue with her until the end of the World Cup”, said one player.

The Minister of Sports has a major say in the appointment of the coach.

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