“I am surprised because they didn’t pick me,” says Chamari Athapaththu

“I am happy to bat everywhere between Nos. 1-6. I can do anything for my team, I am always a team player.” Chamari Athapaththu speaks about being flexible and prioritizing the team’s requirements.

"I am surprised because they didn't pick me," says Chamari Athapaththu. PC: Getty
“I am surprised because they didn’t pick me,” says Chamari Athapaththu. PC: Getty

The 33-year-old Sri Lankan skipper Chamari Athapaththu had a sensational year with the bat as well as with the ball in 2023. She was named as the skipper of the ICC Women’s ODI and the T20I team of the Year 2023. She was the leading run-scorer for Sri Lanka in the ODI format with 415 runs with a strike rate of 125.37 and a humongous average of 69.16 in 8 innings. She was also the leading run-scorer for her side in the T20I format with 470 runs to her name at an impressive strike rate of 130.91 and an impressive average of 31.33 in 16 innings.

Despite of her brilliant and consistent performances throughout the year at the international level, she was initially overlooked for the 9th edition of the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) and the 2nd edition of the Women’s Premier League (WPL). She was eventually drafted as a replacement player by Sydney Thunder in the 9th edition of the WBBL. She turned it around as she was the highest run-scorer for the Sydney Thunder and the 2nd highest run-scorer of the tournament with 552 runs at a strike rate of 127.18 and an impressive average of 42.46 in 14 innings. She was also named the Player of the Tournament in the 9th edition of the WBBL.

“Rejection is some kind of motivation for me. It is good for me because sometimes I can learn and I want to show what I can do. If someone says it can’t be done, be the first one to do it, that is my philosophy. I just want to prove what I can do.” Chamari Athapaththu speaks about using rejection as an opportunity to prove her abilities as an athlete.

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She was picked up by Northern Brave in the 2023/24 edition of the Women’s Super Smash. She was the 2nd highest run-scorer for Northern Brave and the 7th highest run-scorer of the tournament with 221 runs to her name at a strike rate of 128.48 and an average of 24.55 in 9 innings. Her best performance with the bat came on 12th January 2024 when she scored 58 runs at an impressive strike rate of 152.63 against Auckland Hearts.

Apart from her exploits with the bat, she also picked up 9 wickets at an average of 25 and a strike rate of 20 in 9 innings. Her best performance with the ball for Northern Brave came on 2nd January 2024 when she returned with exceptional match figures (4/19) in her spell against the Wellington Blaze.

The 2nd edition of the Women’s Premier League will get underway on 23rd February 2024 and conclude on 17th March 2024. The Sri Lankan skipper Chamari Athapaththu went unsold in the WPL 2024 auctions. However, she has now been drafted into the squad by the UP Warriorz as the England pacer Lauren Bell has opted out of the 2nd edition of the WPL.

“I know Alyssa Healy is an opener, my favorite Danni Wyatt is also an opener, even Tahlia McGrath can open, Grace Harris opens for Brisbane Heat in the WBBL. We have to adjust, and the important thing is the requirements of the team. If the coaches and team need me to, I am happy to bat everywhere between Nos. 1-6. I can do anything for my team, I am always a team player.” Chamari Athapaththu speaks about being flexible and prioritizing the team’s requirements. All the matches in the upcoming edition of the WPL will take place

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(Quotes sourced from Espncricinfo)

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