Sri Lanka qualifying for the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 from the last round of Super Six matches on the back of a brilliant 84 by opening batsman Chamari Atapattu must certainly go in to the realms of the giant sized. Going past Bangladesh was the final hurdle and go past the neighboring sub-continent opposition did the Lankan lasses brazenly to realize the dream of being there for women’s cricket’s big shootout later this year. They have also qualified for the ICC Women’s Championship. Currently ranked No.8 among top 10 ODI teams has also being a shot in the arm for women’s cricket in Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka’s eventual canter in booking a berth in the world cup to follow later this year was shoving out Bangladesh by 42 runs under the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method to qualify as the third side
Accordingly, Sri Lanka book passage to the 2017 extravaganza in Group A behind India and Ireland followed by Zimbabwe and Thailand. In Group B are South Africa, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Scotland and Papua New Guinea. Having lost to India in the first round match, Sri Lanka defeated Zimbabwe and Thailand to notch 4 points to be placed second in Group A, and Pakistan 4 points too to be second in Group B as against India’s and South Africa’s 6 points in Group A and B respectively.
The high point of Sri Lanka making it to the Super Six of the first round was the island nation thereby qualifying to the ICCs ODI rankings for the next four years. A significant factor was the naming of Chamari Atapattu among the top 10 ICC women’s players ahead of the world cup qualifiers being worked out. That was on the merits of some stock raising knocks by the Sri Lankan opener two including two centuries and a half century missing the three figure mark by a solitary run. The strong point in Atapattu’s stroke-play that has put her in a high class has been her aggressive batting flair in carrying the attack to the opposition.
Achieving this latest hurdle is certainly a culmination of the years of effort by the citadel of the game manning it – Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) in paving a better morrow for the fairer lasses; more so with women’s cricket intensifying by the day taking a cue from their male counterparts. Today, cricket has been planted at the grassroots in a progressive evolvement with schools also beginning to raise their hands. Cricket forging at school level in a more constructive manner is indeed an indication of Sri Lanka’s stated dream of growing when one day the lasses could match the best in the world for major trophy honours.
By Srian Obeyesekere
-The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Sri Lanka Cricket-