I've had some fantastic times, I've met some fantastic people. The club has been like an extended family to me. David Howarth - Rodley Cricket Club.
Project supported by MCC Lord's and University of Glamorgan

Marylebone Cricket Club, Lord's Cricket Ground, St John's Wood, London, NW8 8QN | Project enquiries: Neil Robinson | 020 7616 8559

Although cricket in Sri Lanka is dominated by the male game, interest in the national women's team is growing. The women's squad and women’s domestic competition are now an official part of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), and receives the full support of the governing body. The international and development squad are directly contracted with SLC and most players also have positions in the armed forces that allow them to devote their time fully to cricket. Whilst still growing and developing, the women’s game  has a sound infrastructure and the players, most of whom did not start cricket until long after the average Sri Lankan boy, are growing in experience and stature.

Brief club history 

Cricket has long been popular with women in Sri Lanka, and in the early days of the game clubs like the NCC and the Colts promoted women’s cricket and had women’s teams. After the men won the world cup in 1996, however, more and more women wanted to play the sport too. In 1997 the Women's Cricket Association was formed, and its president, Mrs Gwen Herath, worked tirelessly to promote the women's game in Sri Lanka. The committee also included Padma Karunaratne who became the first woman to umpire a men's game in 1999. In 1997 the Sri Lankan women's team was made a member of the ICC, and played their first series against the Netherlands at home, unfortunately losing 2-1.

The team also made its first world cup appearance in 1997, losing in the quarter-finals to England. Since then the women have performed consistently - finishing 6th in the 2000 and 2005 world cups, and taking the runner-up position in the 2004, 2005-6 and 2008 Asia cups. There were some great moments – winning series' whitewashes against Pakistan (at home in 2001-2) and the West Indies (away in 2002-3) and beating South Africa in the world cup qualifiers in 2011. The women's game became part of the establishment when the Women’s Association was brought under the control of SLC. In 2010 full-time contracts were given to 25 women for the international and development squads, and the team have a dedicated coach, Harsha de Silva. A domestic competition is fully established and the team at Sri Lanka Cricket are working hard to spread the women's game around the island, in particular in schools.

In its short international history a number of players have made their mark, including the first ICC-ranked player, all-rounder Shashikala Siriwardene (or Shashi); the first ODI centurion, Charmini Atapatu (against Ireland in Colombo, 2011) and great bowling from Sandamali Dolawatte, whose legbreaks secured figures of 5-16 against the West Indies in Kingstown in 2003. The team continue to develop, looking to break through into the top four of the women's international scene, and hoping to perform well at this year's T20 world cup on home turf.

The club and Taking the Field 

TTF's Emma was introduced to coach Harsha de Silva as he put the squad through its paces at the NCC in January 2012. Having interviewed remarkably few women up to that point, she decided that the international team would have to feature in TTF! Interviews followed with Harsha and manager Vanessa de Silva (luckily the day before she gave birth to her second son). Emma also watched the girls play a trial match at the Premadasa stadium, where she interviewed former captain Shashi and later, at her home in Seenigama, new star opener Yashoda Mendis.

Family Support

Family Support

Sri Lanka Women cricketer, Shashi, talks about how important family support has been for her cricket career.

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The sky's the limit

The sky's the limit

Harsh De Silva talks about some of the trials and joys of coaching the Sri Lanka Women cricket team.

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