WPL 2024: UP Warriorz Name Chamari Athapaththu as Replacement for Lauren Bell

Last Updated: January 26, 2024, 15:42 IST

Sri Lankan captain, Chamari Athapaththu (Chamari Athapaththu)

Sri Lankan captain, Chamari Athapaththu (Chamari Athapaththu)

Chamari Athapaththu recently won the ICC Women’s ODI Cricketer of the Year for 2023 for her exceptional year with the bat in ODIs.

UP Warriorz have named Sri Lanka’s Chamari Athapaththu as a replacement after English fast bowler Lauren Bell has withdrawn from the upcoming season of the Women’s Premier League.

Among the most powerful hitters in the game, the Lankan captain is also one of the most experienced players, having featured in over 120 T20Is. Known for her attacking batting, Chamari is the only Lankan woman to have scored a century in T20Is. She has been signed for her base price of INR 30 lakh.

Chamari Athapaththu was recently rewarded for her exceptional year with the bat in ODIs as she won the ICC Women’s ODI Cricketer of the Year for 2023.

The Sri Lanka top-order batter made significant contributions with the bat and as captain, notably leading the side to a first bilateral series win over New Zealand.

Athapaththu showcased exceptional skills and leadership throughout the year, excelling both as a captain and a player in the ODI format. Athapaththu started the year as skipper with a 1-0 win in a rain-truncated series over Bangladesh. With the first two matches not producing a result due to rain, the final clash turned into a decider.

In a 30-over-a-side game, the skipper stroked a 60-ball 64 laced with six fours and four sixes to propel Sri Lanka to 186. With the ball, Athapaththu got rid of her opposite number and top-scorer Nigar Sultana to put her side in pole position for victory.

Her finest hours as a player and captain came against New Zealand, where Sri Lanka recorded their first-ever bilateral series win (2-1) over the White Ferns.

Athapaththu starred in both victories with a couple of fiery centuries that blew New Zealand away. Her 108* and 140* came in pressure chases and on both occasions, the opener was at the crease to guide her team to victory.

Her significance in the team became even more evident during the series against England, where Sri Lanka suffered a 2-0 defeat on foreign soil, largely due to lean returns from the 33-year-old.

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