Chamari Athapaththu says more Asian representation is crucial to cricket’s development. – By TREVINE RODRIGO IN MELBOURNE.  (ELanka Sports Editor)

Chamari Athapaththu says more Asian representation is crucial to cricket’s development. – By TREVINE RODRIGO IN MELBOURNE.  (ELanka Sports Editor)

Chamari Athapaththu says more Asian representation is crucial to cricket's development. - By TREVINE RODRIGO IN MELBOURNE.  (ELanka Sports Editor)

Trevine Rodrigo | elankaUnlike most cricketers,  Sri Lanka’s Superstar Chamari Athapaththu views money and personal gain secondary to enjoyment and honing personal skills with and against the best players in the world. 

Athapaththu who was interviewed on  Zoom by Multicultural Australian media yesterday, said that her personal perspective was to be given exposure to the rest of the world about the talent that is available outside of Australia. 

She underlined the need for more players from Asia particularly Sri Lanka, India,  Pakistan,  Bangladesh and other promising countries to be given the opportunity to showcase their talent so as to promote and provide a level playing field on the global scale.  

It will be good for the game, she said. She says that Franchise cricket encourages bonding between players, an exchange of different styles and a greater understanding and acceptance about cultural differences.

Interviewed by Elanka on Sri Lanka’s sudden surge as a challenger she said, “Yes, our recent success against South Africa, a series win over England in England and a reasonable showing against New Zealand has given us plenty of confidence and belief in ourselves as a team”. 

Sri Lanka’s champion all-rounder has been in sparkling form recently but was initially overlooked by all franchises in the BBL including Perth whom she represented last year drawing plenty of speculation and criticism.

Then Sydney Thunder threw her a lifeline. She was thrilled to go around once more and says she was confident Thunder will be a force to be reckoned with in the BBL.

She admitted in response to a question that Sri Lanka were no longer dependent solely on her own performance for success. 

Athapaththu believes that franchise cricket was the ideal platform for showcasing the best available talent from around the World and while there is only a few such tournaments in Australia  England,  India and the West Indies more countries should embrace the concept. 

Sri Lanka will venture on a four franchise format in December  She said.

Pointers of Chamari Atapattu’s presser:

Really enjoying my stay in Sydney. Thunders is like my new home. Conditions are similar to Sri Lanka. I would call a batting paradise so far.

Franchise cricket is not all about money, it’s about learning new skills, culture and getting experience. I know many women players from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka who are keen to feature in WBBL due to the standard and pace of cricket over here. I would urge franchises to give more South Asian girls an opportunity to shine in WBBL. WBBL is one of the best franchise leagues and I will take this knowledge to the young players of Sri Lanka. Kavish Dilhari, Vishmi and Harshita from Sri Lanka should be in world’s franchise leagues.

Cricket Sri Lanka is also planning to organize a T10 Womens league in Sri Lanka in December. It would likely be a four-franchise based tournament.

I have a good relationship with England’s Heather knight and not getting any banter from Heather Knight. She is controlling the squad very well here in Sydney Thunders.

Always try to lead from the front when I wear blue jersey from Sri Lanka. A message to all the young girls is to just focus on the present and play fearless. Don’t think about the future.

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