Sri Lanka Women crying out for cricket

Sri Lanka Women's coach Lanka de Silva has issued a call to increase the amount of domestic cricket that is played by women after his side failed to register a victory against the visiting Australians.

De Silva was critical of a system that only allows top women's players to play a maximum of five games in a domestic season.

The coach argued: "How can you compete with countries like Australia, England and New Zealand when you play so little cricket? Where is the exposure and the experience?"

Sri Lanka's women failed to apply themselves at the crease against world number one team Australia, batting out their allotted overs just once in four attempts during the ODI series.

The former wicketkeeper continued: "The difference between Australia and us was that we were quite content hitting boundaries rather than running the singles.

"If you run the singles and twos only can you build an innings and occupy the crease, that's what Australia did. They would score a fifty but it would comprise only two or three fours, whereas our women would make a quick 30 with six fours and get out.

"This happens due to our women cricketers' inexperience and that can be countered by playing more matches. There are eight teams in the domestic tournament and they play in two groups. If you are lucky to reach the final, you will get a maximum of five matches. If not, only three for the entire season.

"There are moves to make the domestic tournament matches two-day affairs, the sooner it is done the better for our cricket. Our women cricketers have the skill and the talent, what they lack is match experience."

Another issue with women's cricket in the country is the late start most female players have, often taking up the game at around 18 years old.

The coach said: "On an average they start by the age of 18 and by the time they mature, they are almost 30. It is not an age to start teaching the basics of cricket.

"[But] there are moves to get schools to start playing [women's] cricket and, at the moment, there are about 30 schools playing fifty-over cricket in a competition. Mrs Apsari Tillakaratne is spearheading the drive."

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