Sri Lanka face Afghanistan in their Asian Championships Netball opener
Sri Lanka will confront Afghanistan in their first game in the 10th Asian Senior Netball Championships at the National Stadium, Bangkok,thailand today.the tournament commenced on July 31 with the opening ceremony.the contest will end with the finals on August 7.
Malaysia recorded a win over Japan in the opening game of the contest. There were four games on the opening day.ten Asian teams are contesting in the tournament.
Last edition’s runners-up Sri Lanka are in Group B.the other teams in this group are Malaysia, Brunei, Japan and Afghanistan.
In Group A are defending champions Singapore, Hong Kong, Chinese Taipei, the host nation Thailand and Maldives Islands. Sri Lanka skipper Gayani Dissanayake said that Afghanistan is a new comer to Asian netball before the team departed to Thailand.“we are unable to gauge their strengths and weaknesses. I think because they have no international experience, Sri Lanka should have no difficulty in overcoming them,” stated Gayani.
On August 2 Sri Lanka will face Japan and on August 3 will be the against Malaysia. On August 4 Sri Lanka will play the last game in Group Four against Brunei.
Continuing Gayani said that the strongest team in their group is Malaysia, who occupied third place in the last edition of the competition held in Singapore.
Sri Lanka’s Buddhika Suriyabandara is the only male netball umpire to officiate from Sri Lanka at the competition. He is an A Grade umpire. Earlier he officiated at the Asian Youth Netball Championships in December last year. This was the first time he officiated at an international netball tournament.
The Sri Lanka Netball Federation nominated eight netball umpires consisting of six women and two men. The Asian Netball Federation selected only Buddhika Suriyabandara from this lot.
Buddhika has officiated over 100 matches in Sri Lanka. By profession he is a netball coach.