Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) on Monday handed over contracts to the 20 players of the Under-21 Women’s Development Squad, which was recently formed in a bid to strengthen the pool of talent for future international commitments.
The handing over ceremony took place at the SLC headquarters with the participation of SLC Vice President Ravin Wickramaratne, SLC CEO Ashley de Silva, SLC Head of Domestic Cricket Operations Chinthaka Edirimanne, SLC Women’s Cricket Convener Apsari Tillakaratne, and member of the National Selection Committee Thilaka Gunaratne.
“Today is a special day for the 20 players present here, as the day marks your entry to the national cricket pathway. The unique point of this squad is that we have players from places such as Jaffna, Badulla, and Polonnaruwa etc. This is a very good development, in terms of women’s cricket,” said Wickramaratne.
“We selected the best 20 players out of a talent screening done among 120 players, and this is a great opportunity for all of you to capitalize and launch an international cricketing career. However, you need to work hard to get to your goal,” he further added.
The welcome address was delivered by Tillakaratne, who explained that women’s cricket is shaping up well on the global stage, and these efforts are part of SLC’s plans to build Sri Lanka’s place in women’s cricket.
The newly formed squad is currently undergoing a three-month special training program, covering skill development and fitness training, under the watchful eyes of the SLC’s District and Provincial Coaches.
Once the players complete the three-month training program, they will be further assessed and inducted into Sri Lanka Cricket’s Women’s District and Provincial Teams to play in the SLC-organized annual tournaments, which is expected to be played in March/April 2022.
The girls were contracted by the SLC for the respective three-month period (1 November to 31 January 2022) as a measure of providing financial assistance to them.