Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) are unlikely to extend the tenure of its women’s national team coach Harsha de Silva.
Appointed to the role in 2018, his two-year contract ends in August, and it now appears that SLC will look elsewhere despite the imminent qualification tournament for next year’s Women’s Cricket World Cup.
“We will take a final decision on Monday, when we will discuss the extension of a number of contracts that are expiring,” SLC CEO Ashley de Silva told the Daily Mirror.
Harsha de Silva took over a flagging women’s cricket team in August 2018 but was unable to reverse course, with results being the reason that SLC have decided to go in a different direction.
"The women’s team has not performed up to the mark in terms of results,” another SLC official told the Daily Mirror, although admitting that the timing of the decision was not ideal with the impending World Cup qualifiers.
During his tenure Sri Lanka has won just one of 12 ODIs and six out of 28 T20s.
The World Cup qualifying tournament was to be held in Sri Lanka in July but the International Cricket Council (ICC) postponed the event indefinitely after the outbreak of the coronavirus brought a halt to the sport around the world.
The ICC has yet to decide when it would reschedule the tournament to, but with no official decision on if it will be cancelled, Sri Lanka would need to be prepared to take part if it does go ahead in a bid to make next year’s marquee tournament.
“There are no specific dates yet for the qualifiers, which is why we took this decision now,” the SLC official also said.
“We will begin the recruitment process soon, and we’ve identified a possible candidate locally, but we will also consider foreign candidates.”
Bangladesh, Ireland, Netherlands, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Thailand, United States, West Indies and Zimbabwe were the other teams slated to take part in the qualifying tournament, with three teams progressing to the World Cup which is set to being in February next year.
Sri Lanka finished fourth in the group stage in the 2018 and 2020 T20 World Cup’s, also losing home series to India and England.
They were also blanked out in the two bilateral tours to South Africa and Australia.
Sri Lanka were also considered favourites to win Gold at the South Asian Games in Nepal last December, but lost in the final to Bangladesh.