Most of Sri Lankan Women’s Cricket Side Join Armed Forces

June 13, 2011

With Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) having failed thus far to find a sponsor for the nation’s women’s side, the majority of the Sri Lanka squad have signed up for jobs in the armed services.

The cricketers will not take part in any combat operations and can hone their sporting skills while in uniform, while Shashikala Siriwardene captain of the side, told BBC Sinhala service she also expects to be recruited by the Sri Lanka navy soon.

After some 90% of the national cricketers in the pool have already been recruited, with 14 out of 30 joining the air force, and 13 recruited by the navy, Siriwardene stated: “I hope all 30 members of the national pool will soon find jobs in the security forces.

“The cricketers will be playing for the army, navy and air force cricket teams and have the freedom to train for our national commitments.

“None of the players are required to take part in combat or even clerical duties.”

A search for a sponsor of the women’s team was launched in the spring of 2010, with the hope of finding a financial backer for a two-year period. The authorities have now been trying to get sponsors on a tournament basis following the failure of their initial plans.

Siriwardene added: “During our recent two tournaments, it was Mobitel Telecommunication that sponsored us.”

An SLC spokesman told BBC Sinhala service that the search for a permanent sponsor was still continuing. However, according to Channaka de Silva, sports editor of the Daily Mirror English daily, women’s cricket is suffering and will continue to suffer because, unlike the men’s game, it has failed to attract a dedicated fan base.