'RCB also approached me' - Sri Lankan star reveals reason for joining another team

The allrounder, who is known for her power hitting, has a stellar record in T20 cricket and could play a big role for her team.

Athapaththu will play for UP Warriorz in WPL 2024?width=963&height=541&resizemode=4
The upcoming WPL season is due to start in a few days time with all the teams finalizing their squads.

After getting ignored in the Women’s Premier League 2024 auction, it was a shock for the cricketing world not to see one of the best women’s T20 batters playing in the league. But Chamari Athapaththu, the Sri Lankan captain was finally signed by UP Warriorz to play in the WPL 2024.

In an interview with Cricbuzz, she talks about the excitement for her maiden WPL stint. “Yeah, really excited. Actually, RCB also approached me, but since the UP Warriorz were approved by the BCCI first, I signed with them. In every WPL team, there's going to be a huge amount of competition to get into the playing 11 for the overseas players. UP Warriorz has a few really good overseas players.

Despite having a near-perfect year, Athapaththu went unsold in the WPL 2024 auction, which according to her, worked as a motivation. “The day before the first WPL auction we played the opening game of the T20 World Cup in South Africa and we beat the hosts in that first game. I was Player of the Match, so I was really excited about the prospect of getting an opportunity to play in the WPL, but it wasn't to be,” Athapaththu said.

“That actually became a motivation for me. You know those pictures of me that were going around on social media, with the word 'UNSOLD' going across it? I took one of those pictures and put it on my dressing table. So, every morning, when I would be getting ready to go for training or just going out, I would see that picture. I wanted to use that rejection to motivate myself to even greater heights,” she added.

‘It will be a battle between me and Danni to see who gets to bat opposite Alyssa Healy’: Chamari Athapaththu

“I've played a lot of cricket with Danni Wyatt and opened with her too, but obviously with Alyssa Healy being the captain and one of the best openers in the world, it will be a battle between me and Danni (Wyatt) to see who gets to bat opposite her. To be honest, even that you can't say for sure. Because Tahlia McGrath and Grace Harris can also be used up the order,” Athapaththu said about the challenges of getting into the playing XI.

“I understand that there might be a situation where I find myself on the bench. But I am confident that I'll be able to show what I'm capable of and to contribute towards the success of the team if I get an opportunity,” she added.

Read: Delhi Capitals pacer talks about the importance of WPL and Women’s U19 WC exposure

Chamari Athapaththu was the Player of the tournament of WBBL 2023. She replaced England fast bowler Lauren Bell in UP Warriorz squad this season, who withdrew from the TATA WPL 2024. Athapaththu is a highly experienced player in this format and is known for her all-round skills with the bat and her off-spin. The left-handed batter has been signed at her base price INR 30 lakh.