Just a few days after former India men’s cricketer Ramesh Powar took up the role of head coach of the Women in Blue, a similar trend was observed in Sri Lanka, when the former Sri Lanka captain and batsman Hashan Tillakaratne was appointed as the new head coach of the Sri Lanka women’s team on June 2.
Tillakaratne will don the role for the next seven months till December 31, 2021. As per the reports, it is likely that the 53-year old will likely hold the position for a further two to three years.
“It’s an honor and a privilege to work with the girls. They’re very talented and skillful. I’m looking forward to the challenge,” Tillakaratne told ESPNcricinfo. Prior to taking up this assignment, Tillakaratne, a World Cup winner was in charge of the Sri Lanka Under-19 side from 2018 to 2020.
With all eyes on the 2022 Women’s World Cup and Commonwealth Games qualifiers scheduled for early next year, Tillakaratne will work towards preparing the girls for the aforementioned coveted tournaments. The Sri Lankan cricket board has also confirmed that it is looking at arranging one or two tours in the coming few months. It has been close to 15 months that the Sri Lanka women’s team hasn’t played any international cricket. The girls featured last in the ICC Women’s World T20 in February-March last year, in which they were knocked out in the group stages.
Tillakaratne believes that Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) is striving hard towards popularizing the women’s game in the country and also taking giant steps in encouraging more and more girls to take up the sport.
“What they want is to justify the money being put into women’s cricket by the ICC. Everyone knows about Chamari Athapaththu, but there are other talented girls also. They just need to be handled properly,” Tillakaratne said.
He further added, “We need to analyze and identify what our strengths are. One key aspect I’m looking at is their fitness. Right now, the girls are doing their fitness workouts on their own, and they’re sending us over their video clips. So they’re quite keen and committed, that’s a plus point.”
This article is the summary of the original article published by ESPN
I am a former cricketer having represented Mumbai University at All India University level. I was a part of MCA probables for the U-19 and U-23 age group. I have been an avid cricket writer for the last five years. Currently I am pursuing my Ph.D from IIT Bombay.