Devapathiraja produce quality women players | Sunday Observer

Devapathiraja produce quality women players

Devapathiraja Vidyalaya from Ambalangoda was adjudged as the best all round team among the girls teams and they deserve to be so. They have produced the best girl players in the country who have gone on to represent the country’s women’s team.

Currently, they are also a leading cricket playing school among the girls teams. They are coached by Mahesh Sandaruwan who is impressed with the dedication and progress made by the girls. He says that already there are two girls in the national women’s team that is now on tour in Australia and had gone to South Africa on a previous tour.

Despite the facilities not being too good, the players buy their shoes and clothing with their own money and enjoy playing the game. There is very little support from Sri Lanka Cricket or the Sri Lanka Schools Cricket Association. They have to play about a dozen matches per season and all of them enjoy playing as it will bear fruit for them.

During the past four years, the players from Devapathiraja have made a good impact in the game. Their players are followed to be picked and groomed further to represent the national team.

Devapathiraja girls began by playing softball cricket in 2011 and after having watched the Women’s World Cup matches being played in Galle, they switched to hard ball. Once they began playing hard ball cricket, national team players like Chamari Attapattu and Sashikala Siriwardena would go to their school and play with their players.

The innocent parents did not know how far their daughters would go in this game. Amazingly, they have attained so much that their players are now lined up to be picked for the national squad.

Former principals Bandula Jayasinghe and Lalith Samarasinghe have extended their fullest support to maintain the team. This is because the school has won four championship titles between 2013 to 2018.

Kavishan Dilhari was the captain then and thereafter Umesha Thimeshani, who was selected as the Observer-Mobitel Schoolgirl Cricketer of the Year, and Sachini Nisansala have made a name for themselves. About seven of them are already in the national development squad and in line to play for the national team.

The Foundation of Goodness headed by Kushil Gunasekera has extended their support generously.

The Seenigama Ladies team comprising mostly of the girls from Devapathiraja have a promising future. They only need more support so that they can pursue a career in cricket and make their dreams come true.

The school has a grounds in Rathgama which is used by their cricket teams, both boys and girls as this is a mixed school. They hope and pray that they will be able to reach higher standards in the game that can be of benefit for the country as well.