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Hashan named women’s head coach

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Former Sri Lanka captain and batter Hashan Tillakaratne has been appointed the new head coach of the Sri Lanka women’s team, SLC confirmed on Wednesday.

He took up the role officially on June 1 and will be contracted up to December 31, 2021. It is understood that an extension is a mere formality, with SLC set to renew several contracts at the end of the year. Tillakaratne will likely be in the position for a further two to three years.

His first job will be in preparing the team for the 2022 ODI World Cup and Commonwealth Games qualifiers scheduled for early next year. SLC also confirmed that it is looking at arranging “one or two” tours in the next few months. The Sri Lanka women’s team hasn’t played any international cricket since the T20 World Cup last March, owing to the pandemic.

“It’s an honour and a privilege to work with the girls,” Tillakaratne told ESPNcricinfo. “They’re very talented and skilful. I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

Tillakaratne, a World Cup winner who was also in charge of the Sri Lanka Under-19 side from 2018 to 2020, is the most high-profile appointment for the post of women’s head coach. The move, he believes, is a sign that SLC is seriously looking at popularising the women’s game in the country.

“What they want is to justify the money being put into women’s cricket by the ICC,” Tillakaratne said. “Everyone knows about Chamari Athapaththu, but there are other talented girls also. They just need to be handled properly.”

While Tillakaratne hasn’t had a chance to link up with his players yet, in his capacity as coach in Sri Lanka’s high-performance set-up he had seen several of the national players first-hand. As such, he already has a few plans on where improvements can be made.

“We need to analyse 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.”

During his playing career, Tillakaratne was renowned for his dogged displays with the bat and his impressive close-in fielding. In 83 Tests, he racked up 4,545 runs at an average of 42.87, while his 200 ODIs brought him 3789 runs at 29.60. Having made his debut in 1986, he retired from international cricket in 2004 and all forms of cricket in 2006, before turning his eye towards coaching.



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Navy men and women record wins at Inter Club rugby matches

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The men’s and women’s rugby teams of the Navy secured two more wins in their encounters over the Air Force in the Sri Lanka Rugby Nippon Paint Inter Club League Rugby Tournament at the Navy Rugby Ground, Welisara.

Navy men scored a thrilling 32-31 victory over Air Force where T.M. Weerasinghe added points through three conversions and two penalties. Further, S.J.F. Gregory, R.A.N.U. Perera, M.A.F.M. Mushin and G.D.J. Laksara also made a try each.

In the meantime, Navy women recorded a comprehensive 55-0 win over their Air Force counterparts. In this encounter, A.H.S. Madumali scored three tries and collected points through five conversions. In addition, R.S.H. Kumari scored two tries and P. Dilani, M.R. Kumudumalee, G.G. Randunu and W.R.W. Vithana too scored a try each.

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Dinara, Sajida win first-round matches

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ITF Junior Circuit Week I Tournament

Dinara de Silva and Sajida Razick won their respective first-round matches of the ITF Junior Circuit Week I tournament which commenced at the Sri Lanka Tennis Association courts on Monday.

De Silva beat Silvia Caliman of Spain 6-4, 6-2 to advance to the second round and Sajida Razick overcame India’s Gagana Mohal with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 win in her match.

The tournament is set to conclude on February 5.

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St. Anthony’s in command against Ananda

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Under 19 Cricket

Kaveesha Piyumal and Induwara Galapitage shocked Ananda sharing six wickets between them as St. Anthony’s, Katugastota contained the home team to 56 for eight wickets at stumps after posting a commanding 268 on day one of the Under 19 traditional match at Ananda Mawatha on Monday.

Mohomed Aaqil (73) and Kavindu Shehan (46) gave the hosts an ideal start adding 90 runs for the first wicket after they decided to bat first. Lahiru Abeysinghe, Rayan Anthonyzs and Janith Rathnasiri then made vital contributions for them to reach 268 runs.

In their essay home team were rocked by the visitors as Piyumal grabbed for wickets for 17 runs to rattle the middle order.

Scores:

St. Anthony’s

268 all out in 54 overs (Mohomed Aaqil 73, Kavindu Shehan 46, Lahiru Abeysinghe 47, Rayan Anthonyzs 27, Janith Rathnasiri 36, Charuka Ekanayake 21; Kithma Sithmal 3/86, Ashinsa Nainayake 2/57, Ayesh Shashimal 5/40)

Ananda

56 for 8 in 32 overs (Kaveesha Piyumal 4/17, Induwara Galapitage 2/11) (RF)

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