Sri Lanka’s Captain Dismisses Retirement Rumours; Eyes T20 World Cup Qualifiers

Sri Lanka's Captain Squashes Retirement Buzz

Sri Lanka’s Captain Dismisses Retirement Rumours; Eyes T20 World Cup Qualifiers

Chamari Athapaththu, the Sri Lankan captain, has her sights set on the forthcoming ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifiers, post which she will contemplate her international cricket future.

Recently, Athapaththu sparked retirement rumours in the cricket fraternity with a now-removed Facebook post, where she referred to her ‘final duty for my country’ following Sri Lanka’s impressive T20I series triumph over South Africa.

Chamari Athapaththu's stellar World Cup knock!

Now, ahead of the ODI series against South Africa, the 34-year-old has stressed that her primary attention is on the upcoming commitments for Sri Lanka.

“I’m still undecided [on retirement],” Athapaththu stated on the eve of the first ODI against the Proteas. “We can discuss it later. Currently, I’m focused on the [South Africa] ODIs and World Cup qualifiers. Let’s see what the future holds.”

Sri Lanka will have Athapaththu leading at least until the Qualifiers, where they need to reach the finals to secure their spot for the main tournament scheduled later this year in Bangladesh.

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In the Qualifiers commencing in the UAE on 25 April, Sri Lanka are grouped in Group A with Scotland, Thailand, Uganda, and USA. The top two teams from each group will advance to the semi-final stage.

The captain expressed confidence in her team’s performance ahead of the World Cup qualifiers, emphasizing the adaptability required to thrive in the UAE conditions.

“I’m quite confident about my team,” Athapaththu added. “We’ve been playing really good cricket so far. However, the UAE offers different conditions and is really favourable for the batters. Every team enters the qualifiers to win, so we have to bring our A-game in the World Cup qualifiers as well. I’m quite confident about my bowling and batting unit.”

Athapaththu has emerged as an inspirational leader for Sri Lanka, transforming them into a formidable team in recent years. This transformation has been highlighted by several achievements, including a historic first-ever T20I series victory over England in England, an ODI series win against New Zealand at home, and most recently, a T20I series win over South Africa, marking the Islanders’ first-ever bilateral series victory over the Proteas in any format of Women’s cricket.

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