Chamari Atapattu Column – The first aim for us is making it to the semi-finals

With new, young and exciting players in our squad, I’m desperate to see how our new-look team will fare in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020.

The Sri Lanka captain is excited at the prospects of the young players in the squad and is hoping the matches ahead of the tournament will help her team perform better than in preceding tournaments.

A tournament like this always brings so much excitement, for the players and the supporters, and we’re all looking forward to seeing what these players can do. With five players over 30, there is also lots of experience in this team to allow the younger players to learn and show what they are capable of on the cricket field.

The mixture of senior girls and up-and-coming juniors is something we’re really keen to look out for, so, all in all, we’re pretty happy with the team we are taking to Australia. As a country, we’ve always expressed the notion that if you’re good enough, you’re old enough, and that’s no different in this squad.

Chamari Atapattu. Women's T20 World Cup 2020
Chamari Atapattu. Women’s T20 World Cup 2020

We like to give players opportunities and at 21, Harshitha Madavi has shown she is capable of stepping up as a leader. She has impressed with the bat and in the field, and I’m excited to see what she brings to the team as vice-captain in this World Cup. A lot of this group is new but we won’t be short of experience together. We will have played 24 practice games before our first game of the tournament, so we are a team that is well-prepared.

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We’ve also had some recent experience in Australia as part of the ICC ODI Championship and we also played three-match T20I series, so we’re making sure our preparation is correct. That was a very good dress rehearsal for us – most of the players that will feature in the World Cup were on tour there, so we got used to playing in those conditions. We’ll be having a camp in Melbourne before we get going with the warm-up matches, we’ll be training and playing some matches out there which should be a really important part of preparation.


Sri Lanka Women's Cricket Team
Sri Lanka Women’s Cricket Team. Pic Credits: Sri Lanka Cricket/Twitter


As for the group, we know we have some difficult teams that we will be coming up against, but we are confident in our abilities and know that victories are achievable. First up, we are up against New Zealand and Australia, both games in Perth, which we know will be tough tests against teams that are well suited to the conditions.

But these challenges are what we have been working for, we have been getting ourselves used to the pitches that we are going to be playing on to help us be as prepared as possible for the matches. Because we’ve done that, if we are able to play to our full capabilities then we can certainly put in some strong challenges to those teams. We’ll then be heading back across to Melbourne to face India and Bangladesh, two teams we know quite well, so we’re looking forward to all of the matches we have.

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We know that those two teams will be difficult but we are confident in what we do, we are playing on neutral pitches and I believe that will be the key to a good game of cricket. The first aim for us is making the semi-finals, getting in the top two in the group will get us there and we’re confident and happy with the preparations we’ve had to help get us there. We’ve never been beyond the first round and that’s a record we’re desperate to put right, especially having played in each of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cups so far.

We have shown in previous tournaments – such as beating India in 2014 and South Africa in 2016 – that we are capable of putting in these big performances. For us now, the challenge is putting together multiple big games in the same tournament.

This article was first published on the ICC Website

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