Hyacinth slams below par World Cup netball team | Sunday Observer

Hyacinth slams below par World Cup netball team

Hyacinth in her heydays
Hyacinth in her heydays

Former netball coach Hyacinth Wijeyasinghe claims that the performance of the Sri Lanka team at the 2011 World Cup was much better than that played by the team at the World Cup held in Liverpool, England last month.

Hyacinth said that she along with former Sri Lanka captains Vajira Pushpakumari and Deepthi Alwis submitted reports regarding the poor performances by the Sri Lanka team.

Speaking to Sunday Observer she said that the players cannot be blamed for this as they played according to the instructions of the coach.

“The team of 2011 under my coaching finished in 14th place out of 16 teams but this time Sri Lanka finished in 15th position out of 16 teams. We had only six months training due to the issues faced by the Association at that time, but the current team spent almost two and a half years for their preparation. “Under (coach) Thilaka Jinadasa the Sri Lanka team did three overseas tours for their preparation but we had only one tour,” lashed out Hyacinth. “The Sri Lanka team did not spend much public funds in preparing the team in 2011 and they knew in what position Sri Lanka can end up in. The current coach is praising the team performances but they have lost matches, not beyond the 10 points and won against Singapore as well.

“Tharjini Sivalingam also became the number one player in 2011,” added Hyacinth.

She also said that they met the Minister of Sports Harin Fernando and explained about the performances saying the government spent nearly Rs. 35 million but due to poor coaching the team ended up with poor performances.

She charged that the current team won the Asian title not because of the efforts of the coach but because they possessed many senior players who were coached by former coaches.

Former captains pointed out that the tour to Botswana prior to the World Cup was a futile exercise and the decision to send the team several weeks early to the UK was also just a waste of money. Sri Lanka won only against Singapore and lost to Australia (99-24), Zimbabwe (79-49) and Northern Ireland (50-67). Asian champions Sri Lanka finished in 15th position in the rankings when they beat arch rivals Singapore 78 goals 57 at the play-off match for 15th/16th place.

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