Sri Lanka – History of Women’s Cricket
While the men representing Sri Lankan cricket have bought glory to their country several times including the unforgettable 1996 Men’s Cricket World Cup, the women are far from reaching this status. Having made their debut a year after their male counterparts lifted the cup, the Sri Lankan women were a part of every World Cup from 1997 however, this year they will have to go through an additional barrier – The ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier.
Sri Lanka did not start their journey on a high, as they lost their debut series to the Netherlands, however, they have had moments of minute successes. For instance, in the 2013 Women’s World Cup, they ended in the 5th spot, recording their best performance. While this may not seem like a big deal, it is crucial to realize that this was just one spot away from competing in the semi-finals.
So far, they have played 167 ODIs, winning just 56 and losing over a100. This is clearly not a very pleasing stat for the Sri Lankans, consequently, they will be looking to turn this around in the upcoming tournament and leave behind an impressive display of professional cricket.
Top Players – Sri Lanka Women’s Cricket Team
1. Chamari Atapattu
Atapattu Mudiyanselage Chamari Jayangan is a 31-year-old left-hand batter turned all-rounder who will also be leading her side in this very important Qualifier Tournament. She has proved time and again that she is not only a player of immense caliber but also a remarkable leader. In her 84 matches across 2010-19, she has scored 2625 runs, averaging 31.6 at a strike rate of 67.8. The highlight of her career was the one match of these 84 in which she remained unbeaten and recorded her career highest- a scintillating 178*. This took place in the previous edition of the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup in 2017 on the 29th of June against the Australia Women.
2. Inoka Ranaweera
From Balapitiya in Sri Lanka, 35-year-old Ranaweera is currently Sri Lanka’s leading bowler in the ICC Women’s Bowling Rankings at the 31st spot. In her 59 matches, she has picked 63 wickets at an economy of 4.38, averaging 31.3. Her best figures are 4/53, against the New Zealand women which is not only a 4-fer but also includes the first-ever hat-trick taken by a Sri Lankan woman in international cricket.
3. Udeshika Prabodhani
Sri Lanka’s prime wicket-taker during the 2018 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup- Kaluwa Dewage Udeshika Prabodhani is a 36-year-old left-arm medium-pacer who as aforementioned was a top pick during the mentioned tournament. She is was the joint highest wicket-taker for Sri Lanka in the tournament with 4 scalps in 3 matches. Post this, she was selected in the Qualifier squad and now, has high expectations pinned on her.
Importance – Sri Lanka Women’s Cricket Team
As aforementioned, Sri Lankan cricket has not produced many glorious performances in recent times, especially the women. Post the pandemic, this will be their first international appearance since the Women’s T20 World Cup in 2020. While most may look at this negatively and predict that the team will be out of touch, it is not far beyond possible that such a break may have ignited more passion in the girls who may be determined to truly turn things around this time. A World Cup qualification will give them a well-needed and deserved boost in their careers as they will smell victory again and realize that the ultimate taste of success is mightier than any hurdle thrown in the way.
Squad – Sri Lanka Women’s Cricket Team
Chamari Atapattu (c)
Harshitha Madavi (vc)
Nilakshi de Silva
Sri Lanka vs Netherlands – 23rd November
Sri Lanka vs Ireland – 29th November
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