By Susil Premalal
The Sri Lanka Netball Federation has planned for the 2019 World Netball National Squad four local and foreign Netball International Test Series.
The idea has been mooted by National Coach Tilaka Jinadasa. The World Netball Championships will take place in 2019 from July 12 to 21 in Liverpool, England.
Tilaka Jinadasa has requested that the first two international series to be held in Sri Lanka in March and April 2019. Teams from Singapore, Malaysia or Thailand are expected to take part in it. National pools or club teams are to take part in the tournament. The next series is planned for May and June. On May a series against an African country is planned. The other will be in June before the World Netball Championships in the United Kingdom.
The World Championship National squad has now commenced training at the Torrington Indoor Stadium in Colombo. There are 27 members in the pool. There are several other players who are currently turning out for their firms and clubs.
In January next year the National Squad is to be pruned down to 20.
By May 1 the National team will be named. Tilaka Jinadasa, the National Coach said that the Manager of the Sri Lanka team should be appointed by then to smoothen out administrative affairs.
“There is no need of an assistant coach or a trainer. I am able to handle all affairs.
“An Australian International Coach Jill McIntosh, International Netball Coaching Panel Chairperson, who has been to Sri Lanka earlier, is being planned to to be brought o the island for about two weeks.”At the World Netball Championships Sri Lanka will participate from Group ‘A’. Australia, Northern Ireland and Zimbabwe are included. Sri Lanka’s first match will be on July 12 against Australia. The second match will beon July13 against Northern Ireland. The first round last game will be on July 14 against Zimbabwe.
Sixteen teams have qualified for the World Championships. They are: New Zealand, Malawi, Barbados, Singapore, Jamaica, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, Fiji, England, Uganda, Scotland and Samoa.
From the Asian region Sri Lanka and Singapore have qualified. At the last Asian Championships Sri Lanka emerged champions with Singapore as the runners-up.