Sri Lankan Olympian Susanthika advises T-20 women WC players to play like champions


The Sri Lankan women’s team which departed on Thursday to participate in the ICC T20 World Cup in South Africa has been advised to play like a champion. The advice came from Olympic silver medalist Susanthika Jayasinghe.

The 47-year-old Jayasinghe, one of the most decorated athletes produced by Sri Lanka and the only female athlete to win an Olympic medal for her country and the only Asian woman athlete to have won an Olympic medal in sprint events, came to greet and motivate the players before they left on Thursday night.

“Yes, I tried my best to address and motivate the gatherings for about 10-15 minutes”, speaking exclusively over the telephone from Colombo, she said.

“The players listened to me very carefully. I narrated my experience and told the players to believe in their own skill and play the game. Cricket is a team game and all players have been asked to give more than 100%”.

“My message was simple : Play the game in the right spirit and accept the challenges. I told them not to come under pressure on the eve of the match”.

Susanthika Jayasinghe also had a personal chat with the captain. “I told her (Chamari Athapaththu) to treat every player friendly and treat all equally and keep them motivated throughout the tournament”.

The Olympic medal winner also added, “all outdoor games require running. In cricket also, the fielders have to chase the ball, batters run between the wickets and so on…So cricketers have to keep chasing and running in this sport”.

The medal winner has travelled to many European and Asian countries, but is not sure whether she would travel to South Africa for the first time during this Women’s World Cup but is certain to motivate players time and again.

Susanthika has been appointed for one year. “I will work with the players at district, province and national levels. My job will be to promote the women’s game in the .Sri Lanka, I was looking out for this challenge for the last 13 years and now it is my turn to deliver”, she signed off.