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April 24, 2024

Sri Lanka Cricket

The skipper lifts self and Sri Lanka to golden groove from lowly depths

By Srian Obeyesekere

Topping Women’s ODI Batting Rankings following her fantastic 195 not out in the third ODI against South Africa in Potchefstroom, is a skyrocketing feat to straddling the international hemisphere of women’s cricket in a spellbindingly rare honour to self and country.

The 34-year-old Athapaththu’s milestone effort that helped Sri Lanka level the ICC Women’s Championship Series 1-1 by her ninth ODI century is by and large a great tribulation for Sri Lankan women’s cricket for a little-known nation that has been vying to bridging the dwarfing barriers separating it from the world giants.

Indeed, Chamarie Athapaththu has largely emerged as the rock to championing Sri Lanka women’s cricket into making strides into the golden realms of making its presence felt from lowly depths of a lingering journey to being counted in big stage cricket having made its foray to ODI cricket in 1997 against the Netherlands. Following swift success winning their first and only test match to date in April 1998 against Pakistan, however, its been a hazardous journey with its best having being a fifth place at the 2013 T20 world cup and never progressed beyond the first round of every T20 tournament.

Athapaththu’s ninth ODI century, the highest successful chase in Women’s ODIs, helped her surpass England all-rounder Natalie Sciver-Brunt to the top spot. The left-hander had earlier been number one from 3 to 12 July 2023 before Beth Mooney and then Sciver-Brunt overtook her.

If her jackpot scores that have catapulted her to fame on a personal note in a brimstone savagery with the willow that has made on of the most feared batters in the game, the Lankan captain leading Sri Lanka to maiden series backyard triumphs over giants England and South Africa in quick succession has been out of the box stuff in filling a long felt void of a superstar in Lankan women’s cricket.


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