Village Voice News

“A Great Deal of Sri Lankans Will Watch WPL Because of Me”: Chamari Athapaththu of UP Warriors Prepares for a New Challenge

<p>Star Chamari Athapaththu of Sri Lanka has been signed by UP Warriorz to replace Lauren Bell, and she will make her debut in the Women’s Premier League (WPL). The batting sensation will be sharing the locker room with players like Danielle Wyatt, Alyssa Healy, and Deepti Sharma.</p>
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<p>Athapaththu won the ICC ODI Cricketer of the Year title in 2023 thanks to her outstanding performance for Sri Lanka in white-ball cricket.</p>
<p>She amassed 470 runs in 16 T20I matches at an average of 31.22 and a strike rate of 130.91, making her a formidable opponent. She also claimed eight wickets at a 5.97 economy rate while using the ball.</p>
<p>But these figures turned out to be insufficient—at least in the WPL teams’ opinion—to be worthy of a bid in the December player auction.</p>
<p>It was unexpected when Athapaththu did not sell at auction for the second time in WPL auction history. That didn’t, however, make her less confident.</p>
<p>In response to a question from CricketNext at a private media meeting, the 33-year-old said that she prefers to improve her skill set than overanalyzing her limitations.</p>
<p>“I was surprised that I wasn’t selected by one of the WPL teams, not astonished. However, they are beyond of my control. Because these choices are made by other people, such as coaches or team management, I consider what I can influence. These are things I have no control over, but I do have control over how I bat and bowl. All I want to do is do my best. I do my best and accept these choices with a positive attitude, Athapaththu said.</p>
<p>Her fortunes began to shift in 2024.</p>
<p>England pacer Bell withdrew from the second season in January of this year, about a month ahead of WPL 2024, in order to focus on his national duty.</p>
<p>Without any delay, UP Warriorz brought in Athapaththu as a substitute.</p>
<p>It’s better late than never. This is the tale of the outstanding hitter from Sri Lanka who was eager to prove her abilities in the WPL.</p>
<p>The only player from Sri Lanka in the WPL, Athapaththu, believes her presence would draw a sizable amount of attention from the island country.</p>
<p>Because of me, a large number of Sri Lankans, particularly fans, will undoubtedly watch the WPL. I simply want to play the way I naturally play; I don’t want to feel under pressure. Everyone is waiting for my performance in the WPL. One game at a time, I simply want to give the squad my all. Athapaththu said, “I want to keep things simple every time in the middle.”</p>
<p>“Inspiring Despite Rejection”</p>
<p>Rejection provides Athapaththu with drive and an opportunity to show off her strengths.</p>
<p>She had a great record, but this wasn’t the first time she’d been passed over at an auction held by the WPL.</p>
<p>Last year, Athapaththu was again passed over for the Australia Women’s Big Bash League before being called up as a substitute player. She struck out with a strike-rate of 127.18, smashing 552 runs, and claimed nine wickets at an economy of 6.83.</p>
<p>Rejection really serves as a type of inspiration for me. It benefits me as I sometimes want to demonstrate my abilities and learn new things,” Athapaththu said.</p>
<p>“That’s my philosophy: if someone says something can’t be done, be the first to accomplish it. All I want to do is show off my abilities. I was given the chance to participate in the WBBL as a substitute player at the last minute. I seized that chance wholeheartedly,” she said.</p>
<p>“I’m So Happy to Play with Healy”</p>
<p>Even though Athapaththu will be partnered with players like Tahila McGrath, Wyatt, Ecclestone, Deepti, and captain Healy, among others, she will have fierce competition to get into the playing XI since she is an elite foreign batter.</p>
<p>Regardless of her position on the squad, the Lankan skipper is eager to play alongside Healy and is prepared to bat in the middle order as well.</p>
<p>I never used to share a dressing room with many people, most notably Alyssa Healy. She and I have never played. I’m very delighted to play alongside her since this would be my first time doing so under her command,” Athapaththu said.</p>
<p>“Amazed” to be included in the ICC Teams of the Year</p>
<p>Her amazing accomplishments in many forms have left her with a lasting impression in international cricket. She was chosen captain of the T20I and ODI ICC teams of the year in 2023.</p>
<p>“Excited and surprised. It’s nice that I had the chance. It’s pretty fantastic since I saw all of these stuff on social media. I was chosen to be both the 50-over and T20 captain. Regarding the honor, Athapaththu said, “That was really good because it was the first time they nominated me for the World XI.”</p>