Focus on girls teams | Sunday Observer

Focus on girls teams

Sithmi Hirosha Best schoolgirl bowler (Anula Vid)
Sithmi Hirosha Best schoolgirl bowler (Anula Vid)

The Mobitel Observer Cricketer of the Year awards this year moves into a new chapter with the interest shifting to looking at ways to award the girls who perform well this season. This will also encourage them to commit themselves wholeheartedly to the game.

A total of 36 girls schools are fielding teams in the under-19 tournament divided into seven groups. The knock-out final round enabled 18 teams to qualify.

Last year Devapathiraja College Ratgama emerged champions for the third consecutive time with Anula Vidyalaya, Nugegoda finishing as runners-up. Ratnawali Balika Vidyalaya Gampaha finished in third place with St. Anthony’s Girls’ College Kandy taking fourth place.

Sathya Sandeepani of Devapathiraja was adjudged as the best batter and player of the final, an achievement that will never be forgotten by her.

There are some schools that have arranged to play their annual big matches too that will enhance their morale.

Such encounters will also boost the images of individual players who will strive to further improve their skills and enhance their standards to higher levels. Once these cricketers know that there is a reward waiting for them they will certainly be motivated to improve in their game.

Not only the girl who will be looking forward to engage in more games, the school heads that field these teams will also be eager to conduct games against more teams. There will be schools in other provinces too that will be fielding girls cricket teams.

This will give them the opportunity to visit these provinces as well. Certainly, schools in the North and East are also having girls teams that will be looking forward to play against one another other in other Provinces.

This will only be a stepping stone for these female players to move to the next level. That is to represent a club and showcase their talent that will lead them to play big time for the national team some day.

Already, the Forces are looking out to absorb them so that they can continue to play the game at a higher level. The ultimate goal should be to represent the country at international level.

There is no doubt that the Sri Lanka women’s team has reached a certain standard. They have won a few important encounters against teams that play at a higher level. But this trend has not been consistent.

Chamara Atapattu and former captain Sashikala Siriwardane have been top performers for the country but not consistent. Talented players must be spotted and groomed to take over from the older players.

CEO of Mobitel Nalin Perera had stated last week that they were looking at a way to conduct a regional one-day tournament among female teams.

At least two teams will represent a region and they will come into the limelight by displaying their talent. This will only encourage the girls to display their talent and perform well to gain recognition. It is not to win that counts but an opportunity to excel and be recognized.

Once they are recognized they will be noted when it is time for selection to representative sides. It could be for the national schools team or the national team.