The cheer of students and teachers echo around the Campbell Park Ground; the school flag of Anula Vidyalaya flutter in the air; and the bands play on…. It was a jubilant moment for Anula Vidyalaya Nugegoda when the school’s cricket team clinched the championship of Under19 Girls Cricket Tournament 2014 beating Devapathiraja Rathgama by 7 [...]

The Sundaytimes Sri Lanka

The girls are thrilled with their achievement


The cheer of students and teachers echo around the Campbell Park Ground; the school flag of Anula Vidyalaya flutter in the air; and the bands play on….

It was a jubilant moment for Anula Vidyalaya Nugegoda when the school’s cricket team clinched the championship of Under19 Girls Cricket Tournament 2014 beating Devapathiraja Rathgama by 7 wickets at the finals held on September 23. The wining team was chasing a target of 117 runs scored Devapathiraja.

Hot on the heels of the victory, the Education Times sat down with the team members for a chat during which they shared their thoughts on their accomplishment as well as future plans to progress in the filed.

Captain of the team, Hasini Madushika who represents the National squad says, she first entered the filed in 2008 by playing for a club and her involvement in national cricket resulted in forming the school team in the year 2012.

Hasini who has represented the Sri Lankan team at the T20 World Cup in Bangladesh this year says her exposure to international games helped her navigate the school team through the path of victory.

“As the captain I gave my inputs to the fellow team mates to correct their mistakes in batting and fielding,” she says explaining how they set the targets to win the final game.

“Our initial plan was to limit them for 100 runs which I would say; we almost succeeded, by bowling them out for a score of 117 runs. Then we wanted to chase this target slowly. Thereafter it was a matter of fielding and batting well, , keeping the mistakes to a minimum on the filed,” said Hasini who won the Best Batswomen’s award.

According to Hasini there are a few extremely talented members in the school team who have the potential to enter into the National Squad. “I share my experience with them as much as I could, in order to develop them,” she says.

Sharing her perspective on the status quo of Sri Lanka’s girl’s cricket Hasini says there is a big improvement in the Girls cricket compared to the time she started with more tournaments being organised as much as more opportunities opening up. Also this is becoming a very popular sport among girls, she says. Due to these reasons the future of ‘Girls’ cricket in Sri Lanka ‘seems bright,’ she adds.

Having two siblings playing for the school cricket team is proof enough of the popularity of the game among the girls.

Team member Amasha Dilshani who is sitting for her G.C.E. Ordinary Level Exam this year believes that she probably would have got pushed in to the game out of her ardent love for cricket. “Not only that I used to play cricket at home with my brother and sister but I used to follow all the cricket matches on TV,” she says.

She was joined by Chamodhi Hansika, who is also a talented Handball and Volleyball player to say the entire team worked hard to achieve this great victory at the tournament where they marched on to the finals with flying colours, unbeaten throughout the tournament. “It was a team effort. Everybody in the team is united, helping each other to master the techniques in the game,” she adds.

An only child in the family, Krishmi Sathsarani says that her ambition is to be a doctor but she receives a lot of encouragement from her family to achieve things in academic life as well as in her sports career. According to team member Nilma Bogahawatte, who engages in Karate, handball and basketball in addition to representing the school cricket team, she wants to do everything she could do to make her school proud by contributing through various fields.

Talking about her latest achievement she says, what the team wanted was to retain the cup they won last year in the school, and they all worked hard for it. “We received a lot of support from the coaches, principal and the teachers,” she says.

She was joined by the team members Kavindya Dewmuni Muthuminitilleke who said she is proud of the victory achieved through handwork and dedication while Maneesha Gajanayake said setting the targets in life and committing yourself to achieving them will bring about positive results. “We wanted to be the champions. So we set a target and worked hard towards that. So we achieved it,” she says.

Kasuni Perera says the unity of the team is what made the victory possible for them. According to her, she selected cricket after being inspired by her mother’s sister who is also a national cricket player. I have a lot to learn from her. With her help I believe I can go a long way in the filed,” she adds.

Himasha Sewwandhi who shared similar sentiments says, “Cricket is not a game that lot of girls play. So I picked up this. I see the avenue this game could open up- but surely not without academic excellence,” she explains adding that team sprit that prevailed throughout the tournament, specially the advice of Captain and Vice Captain to overcome the challenges she faced as a bowler when the match was on going, helped her play a good tournament.

While Kithma Siriwardena who is a batter and a keeper says they mainly followed the instructions of their coaches and that made it easy for them to tackling the opponent Tisari Perera aggress that Devapathirajah Ratgama which was also unbeaten throughout the tournament was a strong and hardworking team. “But we kept confidence in our selves and worked hard accordingly,” she says.

“I like cricket for the popularity it has. I was so overwhelmed over this victory, I felt proud of myself and my school, especially when my family and friends started wishing me,” she adds.

Players like Sithmi Hirasha, Chawini Gayara, Janadhi Anali and Jayani Navoda and Tarushi Umaya expressing their views say tournament was a good opportunity for them to showcase their batting, bowling and fielding skills to the public and they feel they could go a long way in the filed.
When I watch cricket matches I pay a lot of attention to the various batting styles, fielding positions etc., says Chawini.

Jandhi who was adjudged the best bowler of the match (6 overs / 5 wickets for 5 runs) says she achieved a lot through the tournament. “More I play more I will improve. I would eventually try to find out the opportunities in this field,” she says.

The team members extend a big thank you to the coach Sahan Deshapriya, Masters in charge Sujeewa Samarawickreme and Shamali Priyanthi, Teacher in charge of cricket and Physical Education Instructor Dishna Siriwardene, Principal P.N. Rajapaksha and Deputy Principal Gayani Jayasuriya without whose support the victory would not have been possible.

-Dhananjani Silva
Pic by Athula Devapriya

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