Ahead of Women World Cup 2017 the teams are bracing up tight with hopes of victory. Team Sri Lanka leaving for England participated in a press meet ahead of departure. Coach Hemantha Devapriya was upbeat about the tour. She believes her team will play as a “greater threat” this season in the tournament. The coach highlighted hitting ability of her players as a significant progress. Per the coach, before she took over the team the run rate was moderate and not “that great”. The best batsmen in the team also had inefficient strike rate. Her strategy is to use players with best strike rate to aggregate better scores.
Devapriya highlighted the shortcomings of Sri Lankan players on batting fronts. The players lacked creative shots and use of feet, which improved significantly, improving number of singles per match, the coach added. She made players practice with hard plastic balls on granite surfaces to improve shot range and issues with back-of-the-length balls. The team practiced with Under-17 boys. The coach said only improving skill is not enough in modern day cricket. Devapriya focused on the need of players to remain fit, especially for fielding.
Team Sri Lanka has worked on new exercises to play with better techniques. She is impressed with her players’ progress and performance in a short span of six months. She said, she never expected the team to reach this standard. Per the coach, the team “developed very fast and the confidence has gone up.” Devapriya also posed the comeback of captain Shashikala Siriwardene from an injury as a big positive for the team. The player is an allrounder and her presence in the team will incur a massive boost.
Ahead of the tournament, Sri Lanka is scheduled to play three practice games against India, England, and a County team. The world cup campaign for Sri Lanka will start with the match against New Zealand on June 24. The only worry for the coach is the lack of spin friendly pitched in England. She said surface in England does not produce much turn and this could be a roadblock for spinners.