Thursday, April 22

Chamari Athapaththu: ‘Want more match time ahead of Women’s World Cup Qualifier’


Sri Lanka women’s captain Chamari Athapaththu believes the postponement of the global Qualifier to determine the final three spots at the 2022 Women’s ODI World Cup from its June-July window to December is a “good thing”. Just for context, Sri Lanka, hosts of the qualifying event, haven’t had any form of international cricket for over a year now.

“To get an additional four-five months for our preparation is a good thing because we haven’t played any international cricket in over 13 months,” Athapaththu told ESPNcricinfo. “Things have been uncertain because of the Covid-19 pandemic and I was a bit worried that if the event went ahead as scheduled, we would have been under-prepared. I hope that leading up to December we get some a few more series apart from the one at against Pakistan that our board is trying to organise.”

ESPNcricinfo understands that talks between SLC and PCB about Pakistan potentially touring Sri Lanka for limited-overs matches before the Qualifiers are only at a preliminary stage currently. Should they come to fruition, the series might be held only after May.

Both teams, along with West Indies, are among the sides part of the 2017/18-2021 Women’s ODI Championship that will vie for the three qualifying berths for the World Cup to be held in New Zealand from March 4 to April 3.

“Getting some match practice on a regular basis is going to be very important for us before the Qualifiers,” Athapaththu said. “Thailand’s debut in T20 World Cup last year was proof of the kind of challenge teams outside of the top-ranked nations can present on the world stage. We cannot afford to take anyone lightly because it’s qualification to a World Cup that’s at stake.



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