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‘The focus is only on the World Cup’ – Chamari Athapaththu reflects on Sri Lanka’s progress ahead of T20 WC

Chamari Athapaththu Batting. (Photo Source: Twitter/@WHITE_FERNS)

Sri Lanka women have successfully qualified for the T20 World Cup 2024, after taking on Scotland in the final of the qualifier. It was the performance of star skipper Chamari Athapaththu that led the Sri Lanka women to a magnificent victory. 

Posting a target of 170 runs, where Chamari Athapaththu scored 102 runs in 63 deliveries, Sri Lanka women limited the Scots to a score of 101 runs, winning the game by 68 runs and securing their place in the tournament. 

The team finished the tournament undefeated after seven weeks on the road. Talking about her side’s performance, Athapaththu came forward to talk about how they have been putting in exceptional showings in the competition and are focused on the T20 World Cup. She also lauded the ability of head coach Rumesh Ratnayake, who has instilled a new culture in the squad. 

Also Read: Chamari Athapaththu’s sensational century sets up Sri Lanka’s ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier final victory

“We have been playing good cricket as a team in recent times as compared with the previous years, with wins over New Zealand, England, South Africa and now coming on top at the T20 World Cup qualifiers,” Athapaththu told The National.

“Right now, the focus is only on the World Cup. I think we are peaking at the right time with some pretty good results behind us. He created a different culture in the dressing room, new ideas and planning, and then the executions of those plans in both training and matches. He made the girls believe in their abilities and we got stronger as a group,” she added.

Now we are winning because of the contributions from every player: Athapaththu

Furthermore, Athapaththu talked about the reason for the success of Sri Lanka women, and opined that it is due to every player’s equal contribution in the side’s matches. 

“Previously, I used to score and perform but we still ended up losing the game. Now we are winning because of the contributions from every player. We always talked about positive things in the dressing room. And the girls are playing really good cricket. As a captain, I’m really proud of my girls and my staff,” she said.

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