Chamari Athapaththu clinches Weber WBBL|09 Player of the Tournament at Australian Cricket Awards 2024

In a remarkable turn of events during the Weber WBBL|09 season, Sydney Thunder’s Chamari Athapaththu emerged as the Player of the Tournament, earning recognition for her outstanding performances on the field. Initially overlooked in various drafts and auctions, Athapaththu seized the opportunity as a last-minute replacement player and went on to make a significant impact throughout the competition.

Chamari Athapaththu. PC: Getty
Chamari Athapaththu. PC: Getty

The Sri Lankan import had a point to prove after being initially ignored in the inaugural overseas player draft and snubbed in auctions like the WPL and the Hundred. Undeterred by the early setbacks, Athapaththu showcased her resilience and determination when she joined the Sydney Thunder as a replacement player. This move set the stage for an extraordinary campaign that would ultimately earn her the prestigious Player of the Tournament award.

Athapaththu’s performances during the regular season were nothing short of stellar. Finishing second on the runs table with an impressive tally of 511 runs at an average of 42.58, she demonstrated her ability to consistently score runs at a remarkable strike rate of 129.69. Additionally, her all-round capabilities were on display as she contributed with the ball, taking nine wickets at an economy rate of 6.79. These statistics underscored Athapaththu’s versatility and impact on the Thunder’s campaign.

The battle for the Player of the Tournament award was closely contested, with Athapaththu narrowly edging out Adelaide Strikers’ opener Katie Mack by a single vote. The award was determined through a voting system where standing umpires in each match cast their votes on a 3-2-1 basis, considering players’ contributions in each game. Athapaththu’s consistent and impactful performances throughout the season left a lasting impression on the umpires, securing her the coveted honor.

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Chamari Athapaththu’s journey from being overlooked in drafts and auctions to clinching the Player of the Tournament award is a testament to her resilience, skill, and determination. Her impactful contributions with both bat and ball played a pivotal role in Sydney Thunder’s success during the Weber WBBL|09 season. As the cricketing world celebrates Athapaththu’s achievements, her story serves as an inspiration for aspiring players and a reminder that talent and perseverance can overcome initial setbacks to achieve greatness on the field.

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