The Netball Federation of Sri Lanka (NFSL) has picked a pool of 30 players for the National Netball team, following the trials held on the 20th of January 2018.
The NFSL has been trying to rebuild the National Netball scene after a string of poor performances overseas has seen the once dominant Sri Lankans, falling far behind counterparts Singapore and Malaysia in the Asian region.
Just over a month ago double-international, Thilaka Jinadasa was appointed head coach of the team.
Among the 30 selected are Gayani Dissanayake and Tharjini Sivalingam, both of whom have captained the team in the past. 34-year-old Sivalingam, renowned to be one of the tallest netballers in the world is making a comeback into the team after nearly 4 years; she last appeared in Sri Lankan colours back in 2014.
Gayanjalee Amarawansa, Dulanga Dhananji, Dharshika Abeywickrama, Thilini Waththegedara, Sureka Kumari Gamage, Thiwanka Perera, Gayani Dissanayake and Ruwini Yatigammana were all a part of the team that took part in the 2016 Asia Cup in which Sri Lanka finished as runners up, the last major tournament Sri Lanka took part in.
Marisa Fernando and Thishala Algama have also been named provisionally in the pool but their selection is subject to fitness.
Among those who have missed out on the cut are experienced campaigners Deepika Dharshani and former coach Deepti Alwis’ daughter Semini Alwis – both of them failed to appear at the trials last weekend. While Mandira Charuni, Kaveena Rajapaksha, Mellony Wijesinghe, Suseema Bandara and Tharushi Illangarathna, who represented the Sri Lanka Youth team did not attend the selection trial and were therefore ineligible to be selected in the pool.
Apart from Sachini Rodrigo, none of the other players who took part in the Netball World Youth Cup in Botswana last year have made it into the 30-member pool.