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Women’s T20 WC : Told youngsters don’t take any pressure on your shoulders : Chamari Athapaththu

Cape Town : Ahead of their Women’s T20 World Cup opening match against South Africa at the Newlands Cricket Ground, Sri Lanka captain Chamari Athapaththu revealed she told the youngsters in her side to not take any pressure of the tournament on their shoulders.

Chamari, the talismanic top-order batter is accompanied by a Sri Lanka squad with several young stars, including 17-year-old all-rounder Vishmi Gunaratne, who recently captained the team in the U19 Women’s T20 World Cup in South Africa last month and 20-year-old batting all-rounder Kaushani Nuthyangana.

“Every game and everything is a challenge. So as a cricketer, we have to accept the challenge and I shared my knowledge with the youngsters. I told them don’t take any pressure on your shoulders.

I said there’s a school game, there’s a club game, think like that and play your natural game.” “I know we are playing in South African conditions and I know some kind of pressure is on our side and South Africa as well because they are playing in their home conditions.

They are the host team, they are playing in front of their fans. So, some big pressure for South Africa as well. I just want them to play positive cricket freely. That’s what I told my team,” said Chamari ahead of the match.

Asked about the learnings of South Africa’s conditions from their warm-up games against Ireland and West Indies, Chamari stated, “Both games were very close games. We played super over and we won the super over as well.

So, we played good cricket over the last three days and got good experience with the conditions.” She was also in praise of Vishmi and opener Harshitha Samarawickrama, apart from mentioning Anushka Sanjeevani and Nilakshi de Silva.

“Harshitha and Vishmi are playing well. And Nilakshi and Anushka, they have performed well. So now I feel free because I can just play my free game because I don’t have any pressure for the match and in this tournament.”

“I just play my natural game. There are a lot of good players and I have a lot of confidence in them. We have a few senior players and a lot of youngsters, but I will trust myself.

(But) not only me, but my team, and they have good potential, and they are very skilful players. If they are playing their best I know we can beat any team.”


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