October 16, 2019: Shayani Senarathna, winner of the Female Open Category of ‘Airtel Sri Lanka’s Fastest’ competition has been selected to represent Sri Lanka at the inaugural ACC Women’s Emerging Teams Asia Cup 2019 after she was included in the 15-member squad. Consecutively after their exposure into the world of cricket through the competition, six others fom the top 14 next generation of Airtel Sri Lanka’s Fastest have now gone onto impacting the national arena of Sri Lankan cricket.
Dubbed as the female ‘Slinga Malinga’, Shayani Senarathna, who hails from Kandy, currently clocks a scorching speed of 104 km/h. During the preliminary stages of Airtel Sri Lanka’s Fastest, the island-wide quest to discover Sri Lanka’s next generation of pace bowling talent, Shayani clocked a bowling speed of 88 km/h. Under the guidance of Sri Lanka’s Former National Bowling Coach Anusha Samaranayake, Shayani improved her speed up to 98 km/h during the third round of the competition where she was selected among the top 14 fast bowlers.
The overall winner of Airtel Sri Lanka’s Fastest, Eshan Malinga with a speed of 141km/h during the finals is now selected to play for Colombo Cricket Club (CCC). Eshan who is also known as “podi Malinga” began the competition with a speed of 131 km/h. Malindu Shehan who won the over 19 category with a speed of 140 km/h has also been selected to play for the Burgher Recreational Club (BRC). His starting speed in the competition was 123 km/h.
Following their contemporaries from the top 14 finalists, Mohommed Fahim and Rsanjana Aravindu from the over 19 category have now been selected to play for the Police Sports Club and the Tamil Union club respectively. Aravindu has also begun playing for the Sampath Bank Team while Chiran Theikshana and Maleesha Duran from the Under 19 Category have been selected to play for the Burgher Recreation Club.
Airtel Sri Lanka’s Fastest began in February of 2019 with 10,000 participants from over 11 districts entering the competition from across the country at the initial trials. With a select pool of 145 bowlers, the competition progressed through its different levels while asserting a 360-degree approach to hone the full potential of these fast bowlers. From their first musculoskeletal screening, to on-site training camps and even their very first strength and conditioning sessions, the fast bowlers advanced through the competition under the guidance of Airtels superstar coaching team comprising of Anusha Samaranayake, current Sri Lankan T20 captain and legendary death bowling sensation, Lasith Malinga, together with icons of the Sri Lankan game, Chaminda Vaas, Hashan Tilakaratne and Upul Chandana.