Gayanjali Amarawansha likely to lead 12-member squad

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Wing attacker Gayanjali Amarawansha is likely to lead Sri Lanka’s 12-member squad at the upcoming Asian Netball Championship 2022 which will run from 3-11 September at OCBC Arena, Singapore.

Gayanjali has received high honours from a young age and has remained very grounded and focused on excelling at netball.

The 27-year-old was also a member of the 2019 World Cup squad..

Meanwhile, another bright prospect, young Dulangi Wannithilake, is likely to be appointed Gayanjali’s deputy.

Reportedly, the names of the 12-member squad have been forwarded to the Sports Minister for approval, and it is learnt Tharjini Sivalingam, renowned to be one of the tallest netballers in the world, is among top names included in the team.  

Tharjini ended the World Cup 2019 campaign as the highest scorer with 348 points to her credit, and will look to put up a similar performance to help Sri Lanka grab their sixth Asian title.  

This will be the first time in three years the lasses will play a competitive tournament after Covid. They last played in the international arena back in 2019 during the World Cup in England.  

Sri Lanka lasses will take the field as favourites to win the tournament based on their past record of having won this tournament most number of times (5) in 1989, 1997, 2001, 2009 and 2018.  

Preparations for the Netball Asian Championship are in full force and the team is focused on bringing home the trophy for the sixth time.

The islanders are within a whisker of being Asia’s best and they will go all out to prove it. With talented players having vast experience, they will pose a serious threat to their opponents. Anticipation at the centre will be key to Sri Lanka creating turnovers when the ball is coming at them fast.

This will also be the first test for new head coach Hyacinth Wijesinghe, who was appointed early this year, and no doubt the champion coach has some tricks up her sleeve.

The 2020 ANC was cancelled due to the pandemic, while at the previous edition in 2018 Sri Lanka were crowned champions.

11 teams will compete at the biennial event: defending champs Sri Lanka, 2018 runner-up Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Brunei, Hong Kong, Chinese Taipei, Japan, India, Philippines and Maldives.

The top two will attain automatic qualification to the 2023 Netball World Cup.

By Mustaq Sydeen