First Impressions of Sri Lanka

Since our arrival in Colombo there hasn’t actually been all that much down time. The limited time we have had we have all found ourselves pretty exhausted from training. Sorry for not posting more blogs.

Our typical day is training in the morning, meetings/games/massage/recovery in the afternoon. I can categorically say that I have never sweated as much as I have done so here. The amount of clothes that we are going through is incredible and lets not mention the how dry my hair is with the amount of times I am washing it a day!

Training has been really good, and (apart from India) I didn’t think it was possible for a group of 18 girls to attend a session and not bowl a ball, yet still face bowlers for an hour in the nets. The facilities have been excellent, with the occasional miscommunication testing everyone patience.

We have played three games, one vs New Zealand, another against a charged up Sri Lanka team and a match against an U/19 boys team (basically the players that missed out of selection of the U/19 National team that are currently taking part in the World Cup in Australia)…yeah no worries. Luckily for me I was rested for that game and didn’t have to face the thunderbolts, but credit to the girls they played really well. As these matches were training games, players were retired and given a certain amount of overs to ensure everyone had opportunities in match conditions.

Now enough about the cricket….Sri Lanka! My first impressions of this country have been really good. I have enjoyed their hospitality, they seem more organised compared to India. That said, I have not yet felt the same urge to get out and explore compared to India. That may be because they are working us really hard and we are all a bit tired. However, we are staying opposite a beach, which is lovely to have a nice stroll along. Just ask Midge who attempted to go check out the water and got stranded and preceded to slip and fall into the water – very funny indeed.

Today was our first full day off and we all headed out to a beach resort, 2 hours away and spent time in the water – yes that is right, I was one of the first to jump into the beach. The water was nice and warm and reminded me of the West Indies, so no complaints from me. A few drinks by the poolside made it an enjoyable and relaxing day. Others turned to the water sports of skiing, banana boat and jet skiing, with myself staying as far away from that especially with Julie Hunter on the jet ski (West Indies nightmare for some).

The food has been great throughout our stay with a few of us venturing out to some pretty cool restaurants such as a seafood place were you pick your fish (like you are at the fish markets) and the style you want it to be cooked and presto it is done. There has only been one person that hasn’t felt the greatest and that happens to be our manager for the tour Tracey, oh well it is the rite of passage. Her comment on it was “it must have been the rice as it is the biggest carrier of bacteria”….try again Trace seeing as everyone else has been eating it for breakfast, lunch and dinner and has been fine.

With only a few more days left we have training, another match against the Kiwi’s and then it is time for home. It has been an enjoyable trip so far with everyone getting a great opportunity to get used to the conditions.

 

SOUTHERN STARS HIT SRI LANKA

After a decent break from the Indian Tour the Commonwealth Banks Southern Stars are back into the swing of things gearing up for what is to be a massive 7 months. With 2 World Cups on offer, our first focus is the T20 World Cup in Sri Lanka. 

Since our last tour there have been a few changes within the group. Richard McInnes resigned and our Assistant Coach, Catherine Fitzpatrick has taken the reins. Fitzy has been involved with the group for the last few years and her vast experience as player has ensured a smooth transition. Clea Smith has retired from cricket after a wonderful career, which spanned a decade and Tracey Scott (who has been our manager for this tour) stepping in as the HP Manager. Other than that it was the usual crew with Russell looking forward to actually training us in a pre-season…somehow I am not too convinced that I am going to like his sessions.

First stop was Melbourne for our annual admin camp and true to form the usual suspects were there: headshots, CA policies, drugs in sport, CATV. One bonus however was that as a playing group we were able to spend some time with Belinda Clark and CEO of CA James Sutherland. It was great to get an opportunity to ask the people in the right places questions regarding women’s cricket and discuss how we can all play a role in promoting this great game of CRICKET!

Spending time in Melbourne threw a spanner in the works as our packing consisted of training gear, shorts and shirts plus the odd item required for the heat of Sri Lanka. However, thanks to Melbourne’s single digit temperatures, a jumper also had to be added to cope. Surprisingly it wasn’t too bad but by the time we hit the airport on Thursday we were all set to escape the cold.

After 8 hours to Singapore, a quick transit and another 3.5 hours flight we arrived in Colombo with the local time being midnight. There were a few of us that tried to remain awake the whole time so that we could crash when we arrived. That only made us sillier and I believe Ellyse Perry (Pez) commented “is this what it is like to be drunk,” poor Pez we really need to take her out!

Our local liaison officer Anjun was bright eyed and full of excitement as he greeted us. Pez and Alyssa Healy (Midge) and I took our usual spots up the back of the bus and proceeded to try and learn a few of the basic phrases we may need whilst we are here. Not sure if we have mastered them however, given that we still have to repeat them a number of times before we get the desired outcome.

A late check in (try 2am) and our first light session within 7 hours meant that everyone hit the hay pretty soon. Unfortunately I was up by 5am…damn time difference.

Until next time… I will try and give more of an idea of this place and how we are coping with the conditions.