Second tier netballers to challenge the tested | Sunday Observer

Second tier netballers to challenge the tested

The Sri Lanka netball pool:  Tharjini Sivalingam, Imasha Sankapani, Deepika Darshini, Dharshika Abeywickrama, Nauchalee Rajapakse, Gayani Dissanayake, Dushani Bandara, Hasitha Mendis, Dulanga Dhananji, Gayathri Kaushalya, Thilini Wattegedara, Dulangi Wannithilake, Samuddi Abeygoonewardene, Mandira Charuni, Sureka Kumari, Shanika Madhushani, Tekla Priyadarshani, Dilani Perera, Elilenthini Sethukavalar, Gayanjali Amarawansa, Thisala Algama, Rukshala Hapuarachchi.
The Sri Lanka netball pool: Tharjini Sivalingam, Imasha Sankapani, Deepika Darshini, Dharshika Abeywickrama, Nauchalee Rajapakse, Gayani Dissanayake, Dushani Bandara, Hasitha Mendis, Dulanga Dhananji, Gayathri Kaushalya, Thilini Wattegedara, Dulangi Wannithilake, Samuddi Abeygoonewardene, Mandira Charuni, Sureka Kumari, Shanika Madhushani, Tekla Priyadarshani, Dilani Perera, Elilenthini Sethukavalar, Gayanjali Amarawansa, Thisala Algama, Rukshala Hapuarachchi.

The Sri Lanka Netball Federation (SLNF) has already made arrangements to develop the National pool mainly to focus on the Asian Netball Championships with an emphasis also on a Development Squad to challenge the tried and tested.

The Netball Federation faced their penultimate trial ahead of the Championships in the presence of coach Thilaka Jindasa, the president of the SLNF Victoria Lakshmi and the selection committee headed by Padma Baddewela that also includes Sakunthala Wijetunga, Seetha Ramani, Thisangani Kodithuwakku and Vajira Pushpakumari.

Meanwhile the final trials are scheduled to be held on January 26 where the selection committee is expected to prune the squad down to 12. The team has regular practices under the guidance of Jinadasa.

The 35-member pool was pruned down to 22 players and includes Gayanjali Amarawansa and Thisala Algama, who did not take part in the trials due to medical reasons.

Among the pool’s players 11 of the 12 were part of the last Asian Championship which was won by Sri Lanka defeating Singapore.

Already Asian champions team skipper Chaturangi Jayasuriya announced she is not available due to personal reasons but the experienced shooter Tharjini Shivalingam who was also the most successful shooter in the Asian region continues and once again.

The six foot 11 inches shooter from Jaffna and her town mate Elilenthini Sethukavalar are among the poolists included in the pool as is former Vishakian Thishala Algama the talented shooter.

Thisala was on the injured list and is fighting hard to regain her place.

Presently the Sri Lanka team is ranked 18th in the world and finished 15th at the World Cup. However the present president of the Netball Federation Victoria Lakshmi is looking beyond the Asian region and already has plans to provide all facilities to build up the team.

Her aim is to play more international matches for more exposure.

Meanwhile the 13 players who were not picked will form a Development Squad and will continue to train under the former Sri Lanka skipper and current champion HNB head coach Shashika Samarasinghe.

The Development Squad is being envisaged as a feeder to the senior Sri Lanka team as well as a platform to challenge sub-standard player who don the country’s colours. 

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