Asia Cup winning netball captain Gayanjali Amarawansha believes goal shooter Tharjini Sivalingam played a pivotal role in the triumph, and her height was a huge advantage to win the Asian Netball title for the 6th time.
“Tharjini played a huge role in winning the Asia Cup. Her height was a big advantage for us to bring the trophy to Sri Lanka. She is currently in Australia playing for her club and I should really thank her for being a strength to our team throughout the tournament,” said Gayanajali with pride during an interaction with Ceylon Today.
Sri Lanka’s towering shooter Tharjini Sivalingam is renowned to be one of the tallest netballers in the world. For Sivalingam, her height is everything and for Sri Lanka, Sivalingam is everything. She ended the World Cup 2019 campaign as the highest scorer with 348 points to her credit, and put up a similar performance in singapore to help Sri Lanka grab their sixth Asian title.
Tharjini has been a regular member of the Sri Lankan netball team in international tournaments since making her debut in 2009. Sri Lanka should definitely rejoice on its good fortune at having a player of Tharjini’s caliber, and would be a regrettable mistake not to take full advantage of her height.
Hailing from Jaffna Tharjini is currently in Australia fulfilling her club contract.
Sri Lanka claimed their sixth title at the Asian Netball Championships, winning the latest edition against hosts Singapore, while also booking their spot at the 2023 Netball World Cup.
Defending their title from 2018 – after the 2020 competition was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic – Sri Lanka delivered against the four-time winners, with the final score reading 63-53.
It came after a slow start for the victors, who trailed Singapore after the first quarter, before pulling in front for the remainder of the game.
Commenting on the tournament and the toughest game they faced, Gayanjali went onto say:
“Toughest game we played in the tournament was against Malayasia. In group stage matches we were slotted along with India and Philippines in one group, and it was not as challenging. I believe after the 2019 World Cup the toughest team we faced was Malaysia.”
Sri Lanka and Singapore earned the right to stamp their tickets to the 2023 Netball World Cup in South Africa after ending top in the Asian Netball Championship.
“Very pleased to book a slot in the World Cup and it is a huge challenge because we are currently ranked 19th. We want to climb up the rankings, and in order to achieve that we need positive plans and practices, and I believe the Netball Federation is already working on it. As players, we will give our 100 percent and looking forward to reach our target.”
“Talking about the confidence level, the team is in very good shape after winning the Asian Championship on consecutive occasions. As I mentioned earlier, our target is to climb up the rankings and we will do our best to achieve it,” she concluded.
By Mustaq Sydeen