Ex-netball player Harshani rues politics ruined most of the girls | Sunday Observer

Ex-netball player Harshani rues politics ruined most of the girls

11 August, 2019
Iresha Harshini(right) with Malawi player Loera Ngwira
Iresha Harshini(right) with Malawi player Loera Ngwira

Former vice captain of the Sri Lanka netball team Iresha Harshini claimed that several past players retired from the sport was due to politics in the national governing body.

She told the Sunday Observer that most of the past players who were playing with her felt the same way.

“I decided to give priority to my personal life, rather than fight with netball administrators most of whom never played with successful careers,” Harshani said.

“At present the same administrators keep changing and coming back and that is why our netball is still at this level and it took almost a decade for the authorities to realize the mistakes they did until 2018 when the Sri Lanka team was ranked at 27.

“The administrators who have not played in the national team are involved in administration and think they own netball. How can the youngsters get involved when they not being considered,” questioned Harshani.

She charged that the current system does not allow hard working and honest people to get involved though they have the passion.

“There are 34 associates in netball and most of them are sleeping and only wake up at election time. This is why they have their own people elected. They have no intention of taking the game forward,” said Harshini.

“I personally feel that the current netball team is the best we have after having won the Asian title in 2009,” added Harshini the vice captain of the 2009 team.

Harshani said that before the Asian Championship last year coach Thilaka Jinadasa had requested her to get the Sri Lanka team some fixtures with the Malawi team for more exposure and the tour helped the team immensely.

Harshani is currently residing in Malawi. In a similar manner the Sri Lanka team was taken to Botswana to get exposure and they performed well.

“Sri Lankan girls need a more competitive environment during preparations for major tournaments. I think it’s high time we go beyond Asia and invest more on a bigger pool of players. We must have a long term plan with the administrators working harder with a passion,” said Harshani.