At a stage where Sri Lanka’s female cricketers are going great guns in the ICC Women’s World Cup 2013 in India, the inaugural cricket tournament for girls’ schools in Sri Lanka will come to fruition in mid February, with the participation of 16 teams, according to Champika Weeratunge of the Sri Lanka Schools Cricket Association (SLSCA).
According to Ms. Weeratunge, who is also the tournament secretary for girls’ cricket in the SLSCA, this has been a long overdue dream of theirs which will become a reality with Sri Lanka Cricket coming to their rescue.
“This will be the inaugural tournament for schoolgirls to be conducted by SLSCA. It was earlier finalised to hold a tournament involving eight teams from Colombo but it was revised with the serious involvement of SLC, who are keen to uplift the standards of women’s cricket in Sri Lanka,” Weeratunge said.
She revealed that the SLC has reserved a budget of rupees 1.5 million for the tournament, which will be played on matting with red balls.
The tournament will have two league rounds involving 16 teams with the best eight advancing to a knockout stage. With teams coming from all parts of the island the tournament authorities are facing a serious logistical issue but Weeratunge stated that her team from SLSCA will have a final discussion with the SLC officials on Tuesday (February 12) before setting off with the tournament.
“At present we have received 26 entries after publishing the advertisements. So there is a minor issue involving pruning down the number of teams. The SLC has instructed us to study the progress and identify active schools who are involved in girls’ cricket. After a serious study we have identified 21 teams who were active by way of practice and coaching. We will be able to finalise all matters on Tuesday hopefully and start off from that week itself,” she added.