Sri Lanka Cricket in in the process of creating women’s sides affiliated with several first-class clubs, though no concrete timeline has been announced.
“The top clubs in Sri Lanka such as SSC, NCC, CC and Tamil Union will start fielding women’s teams in the upcoming domestic competitions,” SLC President Shammi Silva said at a media briefing on Tuesday.
However, Head of National Cricket Operations at SLC Chinthaka Edirimanne, clarified that the move was still in the discussion stage.
“We have spoken to several Major League clubs, and we’re we’re hoping to hear back from the clubs in about two weeks,” he told ESPNcricinfo.
Sri Lanka’s top domestic first-class structure is the Major League tournament, with 26 club sides being represented currently. Edirimanne said that they hope to create at least 10-12 women’s teams.
Currently, women’s domestic cricket in Sri Lanka comprises the Division One Tournament, a limited-overs contest with eight sides taking part. While several more clubs have competed over the years, only a handful remain – with some of those affiliated with the armed forces even fielding a second XI.
In terms of other cricketing nations, countries such as India, New Zealand and Australia have state-affiliated women’s teams, while England has several club sides.
SLC announced earlier this year that the women would earn the same match fee as their male counterparts, however women’s cricket in the country has largely fallen by the wayside in years gone by. Following the 2020 T20 World Cup, for example, Sri Lanka Women didn’t play another international match for over a year.
In that sense, the move to create women’s sides affiliated with premier club sides, were it to transpire, would signal a significant step forward in how the women’s game is viewed in the country