Destiny of progress in women’s cricket rests in hands of Hashan and Apsari duo
It is very rare in native Sri Lanka that a husband wife duo in any sphere has contributed yeoman service so massively to our motherland like Hashan and Apsari Tillakaratne.The duo had tirelessly contributed to Sri Lanka’s cause in women’s cricket sphere which too is gathering momentum like in the men’s game which begun in year 1877.The fate of Sri Lanka women’s cricket is now rests in the hands of former Sri Lanka Test cricketer Hashan Tillakaratne the new head coach of the women’s cricket team ( replacing Harsha de Silva) , his wife Apsari who had enthusiastically hunted for flair available in very remote area in meeting school Principals which she did tirelessly involved in until this June this year, when her contract expired very sadly but renewed subsequently .During this period Apsari succeeded in exploring in the outstations the evolution and fostering cricket amongst mostly in the rural schools, Hashan is the Head Coach of the national cricket team preparing them for the international matches ahead. It has been confirmed that via Apsari’s intervention eight young girls were able to be selected to the squad of 17 players.Due to the Covid-19 scare the preliminary qualifying matches in Harare were cancelled before the women’s WC in New Zealand.in 2022.It is learnt that an invitation 50 over tournament for women is in the process of been organized with four teams participating..
Apsari was assigned as Convenor – Women’s Cricket by SLC said that she is primarily engaged with the Development Squad. Added as “My job is to tap the talent at the grassroot level train ,develop them to bring them up to national standards. The players she prepares from the Development Squad is the one that acts as a feeder to the national team coached by my husband Hashan.
Apsari affirmed the training the Development Squad for two years where 70% of the players who were in that squad are the ones who are playing in the national team today.Of course as in every sport had lost a lot of ground in the past two years due to COVID-19 but regretted that her bond could not being prolonged. As a result, the newcomers are all at home and they have been sending messages to her saying ‘we are getting old, what do we do?’The goal of the SLC is to absorb about 20 girls to devise the Development Squad.
Owing to identifying talent there are many players unlike previously the girls were playing against the same opposition players recycled but with new talent surfaced there is severe competition for places a new pathway via the district and provinces devoid in existence of a school or district tournament. Apsari had added that there a lot of gifted players but because of the pandemic the progress was hindered.. There is no SLC district or provincial tournament because of the pandemic their growth has been stalled. The talent available in abundance that were identified were absorbed into the district squad under competent coaches to groom them further. It is stated that Apsari’s number one priority is the safety and security of the girls.She had given an assurance that the safety is guaranteed which the school Principals have been fully convinced to promote prospective talent. Currently there are 20 players each in 25 districts. The coaches are conducting zoom practices too to enhance the innate talent possessed in abundance.
Apsari has been extended full assistance of the SLC ‘s management to carry out their vision for women’s cricket. SLC has set aside a budget for the promotion of girls’ cricket. Apsari has been given a vehicle and a driver to visit rural areas in the outstations. Apsari had confessed she carry out the SLC’s dynamic vision for women’s cricket by launching cricket to the villages, sprouting the hidden talent at grassroot levels which she had added was her role which she had discharged impeccably…
SUNIL THENABADU in BRISBANE The writer could be reached on e mail email@example.com