Sri Lanka women get surprise tour of Pakistan | Page 2 | Sunday Observer

Sri Lanka women get surprise tour of Pakistan

3 October, 2021
The promising Harshitha Madavi to lead Sri Lanka on unexpected tour of Pakistan
The promising Harshitha Madavi to lead Sri Lanka on unexpected tour of Pakistan

Sri Lanka’s women’s cricket team in need of international competition, have got a surprise tour of Pakistan ahead of their World Cup qualifiers.

The 23 players were in a bio-bubble at the P. Sara Oval until Wednesday, during which period they played five competitive matches to select 17 players for the World Cup qualifiers.

They earlier underwent a training session in Dambulla and worked hard on their fitness with the support of a physiotherapist.

The newly appointed head coach of the National women’s cricket team Hashan Tillekaratne said all 23 players gave their maximum effort to build up their skills and focus on the ICC Women’s World Cup qualifier in Zimbabwe from November 25 to December 5.

In the meantime Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) made a sudden arrangement for a Pakistan tour for three ODIs scheduled to commence this month and the team is due to leave for Pakistan on October 15.

The tour itinerary is being awaited from the Pakistan Cricket Board but with this unexpected tour the women’s National pool will resume their training from October 5 in a bio secure bubble due to the global pandemic.

The Pakistan tour is a morale-booster for the Sri Lankan women who were without any international engagements prior to taking part in the ICC Women’s World Cup qualifier in Zimbabwe.

Tillekaratne said most probably promising all-rounder Harshitha Madavi will lead the team on the Pakistan tour as regular skipper Chamari Atapattu is already in Australia for the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) scheduled to start on October 16.

For the first time Atapattu will play for the Perth Scorchers and will join the Sri Lanka team for the World Cup qualifier in Zimbabwe.

However 23-year old Harshitha Madavi through her role as stop-gap captain gives her the chance to gain valuable experience for the future. She captained the team at the South Asian Games in 2019 which was an under 23 tournament.

Tillekaratne said he was highly satisfied with the women’s cricketers’ preparations during the training period at the P Sara Oval.

“We have a young side with a few senior players. Some batters were able to score big during these practice matches and we have a new bowler who can bowl at a 120 kms. Their commitment is also very high.

“We have to get more match practice before the World Cup qualifier and now taking into account the ODIs against Pakistan it is a superb opportunity before the World Cup qualifiers to assess our strength and we are all satisfied with this sudden tour of Pakistan,” said Tillekaratne.

“The last two months we have been working very hard towards improving our game. This is a superb benchmark to assess our present status and how good we are,” he added.

Ravindra Pushpakumara (fast bowling coach), Lanka de Silva (fielding coach) and Dinuk Hettiarachchi (spin bowling coach) make up the overall coaching set-up.

Sri Lanka, Pakistan, West Indies, Bangladesh, Ireland, Thailand, Papua New Guinea, United States of America and Netherlands apart from hosts Zimbabwe are set to feature in the 10-team ICC Women’s World Cup qualifiers to decide the three teams for the ICC Women’s World Cup 2022 in New Zealand from March 4 to April 3 that will join five teams that have already qualified through the ICC Women’s Championship – Australia, England, India, South Africa and New Zealand.