Chamari Atapattu laments lack of opportunities to play international cricket
Chamari Atapattu. © Getty Images
Sri Lanka last played an international match when they won their last league match against Bangladesh in the T20 World cup 2020 in February last year before COVID-19 disrupted the fixtures and Sri Lanka are yet to return to international cricket. Captain Chamari Atapattu, who is currently the number 14 ranked T20I batter, lamented the lack of opportunities since the T20 World Cup.
“If only I had more chances to take part in international matches I could have improved my ranking but due to this pandemic all plans are jeopardized," Atapattu was quoted as saying by sundayobserver.lk.
Sri Lanka haven’t played a One Day International match since October 2019 they played Australia in Australia. In that tour, Atapattu became the only player to register ODI and T20I hundreds against the hosts. While the players have been training individually, there hasn't been any fixtures announced for the side as of now.
“We have youngsters in our National pool of 40 players who are doing physical training at home according to the schedule and hope to resume training after the vaccinations very soon,” Atapattu said.
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The 31-year-old Atapattu along with retired allrounder Shashikala Siriwardene represented Supernovas during India's three-team Women's T20 Challenge that was played in UAE in November last year and that's the only competitive cricket any of the Sri Lankan players have played since the end of the T20 World Cup. Atapattu has signed by the Perth Scorchers for the upcoming season of Women's Big Bash League (WBBL) in Australia.
“Shashikala Siriwardene and I got a chance to play in the women’s IPL in Sharjah last November but due to the pandemic we missed the franchise league matches over travel restrictions. There was a chance to play in the English league and Big Bash in Australia but all arrangements ended in a big disappointment,”
Sri Lanka are scheduled to host the 2022 World Cup Qualifier in December 2021 which was postponed from July last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top three teams from the qualifier will progress to the Women's Cricket World Cup 2022 in New Zealand.
“Experienced players like Shashikala Siriwardena and Sripalee Weerakkody have retired from the international arena and we have to look for newcomers to pick a good side and we are looking forward to the guidance of our new coach Hashan Tillekaratne,” Atapattu concluded.