Former national cricketer Lanka de Silva on Monday (July 27) appointed as interim coach of Sri Lanka Women’s Team, Cricket Age reliably learns. The decision was taken during the SLC Executive Committee (ExCo) meeting yesterday.
A wicketkeeper batsman, Lanka played 3 tests and 11 ODI matches for Sri Lanka, all in year 1997. He came into the Sri Lankan side in place of Romesh Kaluwitharana with heavy expectations on his shoulders. He proved up to the task in hand, and as well as being an excellent wicketkeeper, he showed a nifty touch with the bat. But competition for the wicketkeeper’s place was tough, and eventually he lost his place when Kaluwitharana returned and didn’t receive another chance after that.
This will be Lanka’s second stint with the Women’s Team, after a reasonably successful tenure in 2016.
“Like Men’s national team, we are looking for a foreign coach for the Women’s side as well. Until we finalizes a suitable foreign coach, Lanka will be shouldering the responsibility as interim coach” a top SLC administrator told Cricket Age.
Lanka has replaced Harsha de Silva, whose contract was not renewed by the SLC. De Silva, who is currently staying in Australia, began his coaching with his school St. Joseph’s College, Colombo and later coached two club cricket teams, including a women’s one, in Queensland, Australia. Under De Silva, Sri Lanka last played in the 13th ICC T20 World Cup in February and March in Australia. They managed to beat only Bangladesh in that tournament before being eliminated from the first round.
Sri Lanka’s poor performance in women’s international cricket was a talking point for sometime, with them being unable make any notable stride for over a decade or so. Presently Sri Lanka is ranked poorly at eighth place in both ODIs and T20Is.
Interestingly, before Lanka’s appointment yesterday, Mahesh Weerasinghe, who is the current Emerging Coach of the Women’s Team, was told by the SLC to carry fitness program with the players.
“We hold ExCO meeting once in a month. He (Mahesh) was verbally told to take over Women’s team. However, Yesterday, Exco rectified it and approved Lanka de Silva appointment” the top SLC administrator added.