Chamari Athapaththu reclaims the ODI NO. 1 ranking throne

Sri Lankan cricket witnessed a moment of triumph recently as their captain, Chamari Athapaththu, reclaimed the top spot in the ICC Women’s ODI batting rankings. This ascension to the number one position follows her phenomenal knock of 195 not out in the final ODI against South Africa.

Sri Lankan cricket witnessed a moment of triumph recently as their captain, Chamari Athapaththu, reclaimed the coveted No. 1 spot in the ICC Women’s ODI batting rankings. This feat comes on the back of a phenomenal performance in the final ODI against South Africa, where Athapaththu smashed an unbeaten 195, not only leading her team to victory but also etching her name in cricketing history.

A Match-Winning Masterclass

The stage was set in Potchefstroom, South Africa. Sri Lanka, trailing 1-0 in the three-match series, needed a monumental effort to square it up. Enter Athapaththu, who rose to the occasion in spectacular fashion. Chasing a mammoth target of 302 – the highest ever set for a successful chase in women’s ODIs – the left-handed batter displayed remarkable composure and controlled aggression. She anchored the Sri Lankan innings, stitching together crucial partnerships and playing with a blend of elegance and power. Her knock, the third-highest individual score in women’s ODI history, was a masterclass in run-scoring, showcasing her ability to adapt to different situations and bowlers.

Return to the Peak

This achievement marks Athapaththu’s return to the top of the ODI rankings after a brief stint earlier in 2023. The Sri Lankan star had previously held the No. 1 position in July of that year, a testament to her consistent batting prowess. However, the likes of Beth Mooney and Nat Sciver-Brunt had temporarily eclipsed her. With this record-breaking knock, Athapaththu has not only regained the top spot but also achieved her highest-ever rating (773) in the rankings.

A Force to be Reckoned With

Athapaththu’s dominance extends beyond this singular knock. She is a veteran of the game, having captained Sri Lanka since 2011. Renowned for her aggressive batting style and ability to play big innings, she is a role model for aspiring young cricketers across the globe. Her fighting spirit and leadership qualities have been instrumental in Sri Lanka’s rise in women’s cricket.

Beyond the Numbers

Athapaththu’s ascension to the No. 1 spot is more than just a ranking statistic. It signifies the growing strength of Sri Lankan women’s cricket and their ability to compete with the best in the world. It also highlights the emergence of a new generation of talented batters who are pushing the boundaries of the game.

Athapaththu is a veteran of the women’s game, having made her international debut in 2002. Over the years, she has established herself as a true legend of Sri Lankan cricket. Her aggressive batting style and ability to score quickly have made her a nightmare for bowlers across the globe.

Some of her notable achievements include:

  • Holding the record for the highest individual score by a Sri Lankan batter in ODIs (195*)
  • Leading Sri Lanka to the finals of the 2012 Women’s T20 World Cup
  • Being the first Sri Lankan woman cricketer to reach 4,000 ODI runs

Looking Ahead: Can Athapaththu Maintain Her Dominance?

The world of women’s cricket is brimming with exceptional talent, and the competition for the top spot is fierce. Players like Meg Lanning, Smriti Mandhana, and Nat Sciver-Brunt are all capable of challenging Athapaththu’s reign. However, Athapaththu’s recent form suggests that she is hungry for more success. Her unwavering determination and hunger for runs bode well for her future prospects.

Looking Ahead

With the Women’s Cricket World Cup scheduled for 2025, Chamari Athapaththu’s return to form is a positive sign for Sri Lanka. Her experience and leadership, coupled with the talent of the younger players, could propel the team to achieve greater heights in the upcoming mega-event. As the cricketing world awaits to see what the future holds for Athapaththu and Sri Lanka, one thing is certain: the fire in this batting maestro still burns brightly, and she is ready to inspire her team and fans with her exceptional skills.