The 33-year-old all-rounder Chamari Athapaththu, who is now the skipper of the Sri Lankan women’s cricket team, made her international debut on 15 June 2009 in a T20I against India. Over the years she has established herself as one of the best players for Sri Lanka and overall, a legend in the women’s game.
She has played close to 100 matches in the ODI format (95), scoring over 3000 runs with an impressive average of 34.77. Her tally of runs includes eight centuries and 15 half-centuries in the ODI format. In the T20I format, she has played over 100 matches, scoring over 2,500 runs with a strike rate of 105.71. Her tally of runs includes eight half-centuries and one century.
Her best performance with the bat in T20Is came against Australia in the year 2019 when she scored 113 off just 66 balls at a rate of 171.21. As far as the ODIs are concerned, her best performance with the bat yet again came against Australia when she scored an unbeaten 178 runs off just 143 balls at a strike rate of 124.47 in the ICC Women’s ODI World Cup in England in the year 2017.
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Apart from her exploits with the bat, she has also been a very handy performer with the ball in hand. She has picked up 28 wickets so far in ODIs. Her best performance with the ball came against Australia, which also stands out as one of her favourite opponents. She had picked up three wickets, giving away just 31 runs in her spell. As far as the T20Is are concerned, she has picked up 36 wickets in 61 Innings so far. Her best performance with the ball came against Bangladesh last year in January. She had picked up three wickets giving away just 17 runs in her spell.
Even as a skipper, she is taking the Sri Lankan team to new heights with her excellent leadership skills. Her ability to contribute to her side in multiple ways on the field makes her a valuable asset for any team she will be a part of. As a captain, she has led Sri Lanka in 72 matches so far in the shortest format. She has a win percentage of around 35% percentage as a skipper in the T20Is.
The most memorable moments in recent times came when they put up impressive performances in the Asia Cup last year which was played in the T20I format, where they went on to win four out of their six games. They also went on to win the T20I series against Bangladesh.
As far as the One Day Internationals are concerned, their most memorable performances came against New Zealand where they managed to clinch the ODI series. The ODI series triumph was their first-ever bilateral series victory over New Zealand. She led from the front with the bat for Sri Lanka, ending the series with one of the top run scorers for Sri Lanka with 248 runs in the series. She was awarded the Player of the Series for her brilliant performance with the bat throughout the series, playing a crucial role in Sri Lanka’s historic triumph.
She has also made a mark for herself in the franchise leagues. She made her WBBL debut for the Melbourne Renegades in the year 2017. Since then, she has played 26 matches and scored 329 runs so far. Her tally of runs includes a half-century. Her best performance with the bat came against the Hobart Hurricanes last year when she stayed unbeaten on 75 off just 59 balls, scoring at a strike rate of 127.11.
In the Women’s Cricket Super League, she played for Loughborough Lightning. She played 11 matches, scoring close to 200 runs in the 11 innings for them. In the Women’s T20 Challenge, she played for the Supernovas scoring 176 runs in six innings with an impressive average of 29.33 and a strike rate of 101.73. Her best performance with the bat came against the Trailblazers when she scored 67 runs at an impressive strike rate of 139.58.
Despite her impressive performances in the limited opportunities she received across various leagues around the world, she has not been picked for any of the overseas leagues like the WBBL, WPL, or The Women’s Hundred etc. Her exclusion from the upcoming edition comes across as a piece of shocking news not only for her fans but also for the cricket fraternity around the world.