Women's Tri-Nation Tournament in Bangladesh 2008-09 January 27, 2009

'We will aim for World Cup semi-final' - Ekanayake

Cricinfo staff

Thanuga Ekanayake, the chairman of the Sri Lanka women's selection committee, is confident the tri-nation series in Bangladesh will be the ideal warm-up ahead of the World Cup, where she said Sri Lanka would aim to reach the semi-finals.

"Only one change has been made from the last squad for the West Indies series and all players are in good form and are confident as they did well against West Indies and also were runners-up to India in the Asian series," Ekanayake told Sri Lanka's Nation on Sunday.

Sri Lanka won four out of their six matches in the Asia Cup in May last year and beat West Indies 3-2 in November. The tri-nation tournament, which includes the hosts Bangladesh and Pakistan, will be Sri Lanka's first away series in more than two years.

Ekanayake said Sri Lanka will have to well against Pakistan, England and India in the World Cup's first-round matches to go to the Super Six. In order to perform well in the two World Cups this year, it was important for the players' to maintain fitness. "Our new trainer Dinendra Jayasinghe, a Sri Lankan-born lady who is Australian qualified, has done her best to keep our players fit during the past six months," said Ekanayake. "The team's coach Chitral Mendis and manager Indrani are a great combination and work tirelessly for the team. We also deeply appreciate the support given to women's cricket by the sport ministry and Sri Lanka Cricket.

"We are also hoping to form a pool for a Sri Lanka Women's 'A' team. The SLC-conducted women's inter-provincial tournament was most helpful in finding talented players."