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Sri Lanka captain quashes retirement speculation; sets sight on T20 World Cup Qualifiers

9 April 2024 12:38 pm - 1     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


(ICC) - Sri Lanka Women’s team captain Chamari Athapaththu has cleared the air about her future in international cricket.

Chamari Athapaththu has her focus entirely on the upcoming ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifiers, after which she will decide her future in international cricket.

Athapaththu stirred up speculation within the cricketing community by dropping hints about retirement in a now-deleted Facebook post, where she mentioned 'last duty for my country' following Sri Lanka's remarkable T20I series victory over South Africa.

Now, prior to the ODI series against South Africa, the 34-year-old emphasised that her primary focus lies on the upcoming commitments for Sri Lanka

"I'm still not decided [on retirement]," Athapaththu said on the eve of the first ODI against the Proteas. "We can talk about it later. At the moment, I'm focused on the [South Africa] ODIs and World Cup qualifiers. Let's see in the future."

Sri Lanka will have Athapaththu at the helm at least until the Qualifiers, where they will need to reach the finals to book their berth for the main tournament to be played later this year in Bangladesh.

In the Qualifiers to be played in the UAE starting on 25 April, Sri Lanka are placed in Group A alongside Scotland, Thailand, Uganda and USA. The top two teams from the two groups will reach the semi-final stage.

The skipper expressed confidence in her team's performance ahead of the World Cup qualifiers, highlighting the adaptability needed to succeed in the conditions UAE has to offer.

“I'm pretty confident about my group,” Athapaththu added. “We've played really good cricket so far. But the UAE has different conditions and is really good for the batters. Every team goes to qualifiers to win so we have to play our best cricket in World Cup qualifiers as well. I'm pretty confident about my bowling unit and batting unit."

Athapaththu has proved to be an inspirational leader for Sri Lanka and has been credited for turning them into a formidable side in recent years. This transformation has been underscored by several accolades, including a historic first-ever T20I series win over England in England, an ODI series win against New Zealand at home and most recently, T20I series win over South Africa, which was the Islanders’ first-ever bilateral series victory over the Proteas in any format of Women’s cricket.

  Comments - 1

  • cricketer Monday, 15 April 2024 06:40 AM

    It might be time for Chamari to retire because it is the second time in recent months that the Sri Lanka Womens Cricket team has suffered a heavy defeat against a full stength South African side after losing to a full strength England Women's team last September.

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