Sri Lanka Cricket – July 4, 2023
Athapaththu first Sri Lanka player to top MRF Tyres ICC Women’s ODI player rankings
Sri Lanka captain Chamari Athapaththu has become the first player from her country to top the MRF Tyres ICC Women’s ODI Player Rankings after starring in a 2-1 series win over New Zealand in the ICC Women’s Championship.
The left-handed opener has thus emulated Sanath Jayasuriya, who is the only Sri Lanka player to top the ODI batting rankings for men, for 181 days between September 2002 and May 2003.
Athapaththu’s two centuries in three matches have lifted her six places, overtaking the likes of Harmanpreet Kaur, Meg Lanning and Laura Wolvaardt and displacing Australia’s Beth Mooney, who was at the top of the batting charts since 10 May.
Athapaththu won ‘player of the match’ awards for her 108 not out off 83 balls in the first match and 140 not out off 80 in the final match. She was also named ‘player of the series’, making a rapid rise from seventh position, her previous career-best ranking.
Only two other Sri Lanka players have reached number one position in the women’s rankings, both in the year 2014 – left-arm seam bowler Udeshika Prabodhani (T20I bowling) and Shashikala Siriwardene (T20I all-rounders).
Athapaththu, who has scored all her country’s top 10 individual scores in women’s ODIs, is currently at the highest-ever points tally by a Sri Lanka woman in ODIs with 758 rating points. The next best is just 587 by Dedunu Silva, who also has the next highest-ranking, reaching 11th position in April 2010.
Other Sri Lanka players to advance are Kavisha Dilhari (up 19 places to 37th among batters) and Prabodhani (up 14 places to 32nd among bowlers).
Meanwhile, New Zealand captain Sophie Devine has shot up six places to 13th after smashing a match-winning 137 in the second ODI of the series in Galle.
In the latest rankings update, which also considers performances in the ICC Women’s Championship series in the Caribbean in which the West Indies prevailed 2-0 over Ireland, Ireland opener Gaby Lewis has progressed five places to 21st after her unbeaten 95 in the final match.
For the West Indies, Shamilia Cornell (up four places to joint-24th) and Afy Fletcher (up 14 places to 32nd) have moved up the bowlers’ list.
In the T20I rankings, Sophie Dunkley (up four places to 16th) and Amy Jones (up one places to 25th) have moved up the batting rankings after the first match of the England-New Zealand series while Sarah Glenn (up one place to third) and Jess Jonassen (up four places to 18th) have moved up the bowling rankings.