Sri Lanka name 17-member women’s squad for WC Qualifier

Wednesday, 6 October 2021 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}



  • Coach Tillakaratne disappointed with Pakistan tour postponement
  • Confident that Sri Lanka can qualify for 2022 World Cup  


By Sa’adi Thawfeeq

Sri Lanka has named a 17-member cricket squad with superstar all-rounder Chamari Atapattu as captain for next month’s ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe.

Atapattu currently is in Hobart representing Perth Scorchers in the Women’s Big Bash League due to commence on 14 October.

The squad which carries a lot of experience, comprises three newcomers who have yet to make their mark in international cricket, namely Imesha Dulani, a 21-year-old right-hand batter from Devapathiraja College and Seenigama Ladies CC; Vishmi Gunaratne, a 16-year-old fast bowler and opening batter from Ratnavali Balika Vidyalaya, Gampaha and Seenigama Ladies CC; and Sachini Nisansala, a 19-year-old who bowls left-arm wristspin from Devapathiraja College and Seenigama Ladies CC.

Five standby players have also been named as cover for any injury before the team leaves for Zimbabwe. However, these players will not be part of the 17-member squad. They will not be in a bubble and will train separately with another coach.

Tillakaratne said the squad was selected based on the performance of the five one-day practice matches played amongst the players at the P. Sara Oval.   

“There is a little bit of fine tuning to be done in the coming weeks but the way the players have improved and the way they are playing I am sure we can finish within the first three and qualify for the World Cup,” said Tillakaratne.

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

In fact, Sri Lanka picked two sides, one for the tour to Pakistan and the other for the World Cup qualifier, however the much looked forward to tour to Pakistan has fallen through and has been shelved for a later date.

Tillakaratne expressed disappointment that the proposed three-match tour had to be postponed with his players be left with only practice matches to be played amongst themselves before they travel to Zimbabwe for the all-important ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier, which will be held from 25 November to 5 December.

“It would have been nice if we had played Pakistan. It would have given me a chance to assess my players for the World Cup qualifiers. It is disappointing that the series didn’t come through. It has been cancelled from the Pakistan end because they had some logistic issues,” said Tillakaratne.

In the meantime, Tillakaratne said that Sri Lanka Cricket was trying to organise a local 50-over series with two sides for the national women’s cricketers from 25-31 October to somewhat replace the cancelled Pakistan tour, but nothing has been finalised as yet.

Tillakaratne said that the World Cup qualifier squad would go into a bubble on 9 October and train till 17 October. “For the time being we have planned to play three practice matches because of the proposed tournament. If it does not take place, we will play more matches before our departure to Zimbabwe on 15 November.”

SRI LANKA WOMEN’S SQUAD FOR WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS: Chamari Atapattu (Captain, Age 31, WODIs 84), Harshitha Madavi (Vice Captain, 23, 13), Inoka Ranaweera (35, 59), Nilakshi de Silva (32, 19), Hasini Perera (26, 32), Sugandika Kumari (30, 24), Oshadi Ranasinghe (35, 23), Ama Kanchana (30, 30), Udeshika Prabodhani (36, 56), Achini Kulasuriya (31, 11), Anushka Sanjeewani (31, 18), Kavisha Dilhari (20, 4), Tharika Sewwandi (21, 1), Prasadani Weerakkody (32, 53), Imesha Dulani (21, 0), Vishmi Gunaratne (16, 0), Sachini Nisansala (19, 0)

STANDBY PLAYERS: Umesha Thimashini (29, 1), Kawya Kavindi (18, 0), Madushika Meththananda (27, 0), Sathya Sandeepani (22, 0), Lihini Apsara (24, 0)