Sri Lanka captain Chamari Athapaththu believes her team is brimming with confidence and feel that they can go a long way in the upcoming ICC Women's T20 World Cup 2023 to be held from February 10-26 in South Africa.
"We have never been as confident as we are going into this tournament. Our ambitions are nothing less than winning the tournament-that is our ultimate goal. Our confidence stems from recent results, the skills and competencies of our players, and the experience we have with the team."
"We just competed well in the Asia Cup and were able to make the final against India. We beat several teams, including Bangladesh in the initial stage and then Pakistan in the semi-finals, to reach the final."
"Our preparations for the ICC Women's T20 World Cup have been really good. We have played in a number of international matches in recent months including the Asia Cup.
We have found some kind of a rhythm and I feel we are finding the right combinations as well," wrote Chamari in her column for the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Saturday.
Chamari also revealed that Sri Lanka, making their eighth appearance in the Women's T20 World Cup, had done some special preparation at home, keeping in mind the South African conditions, despite heading into the tournament without a head coach.
"We have been focused on this tournament and working towards it in every way. We have had some special training sessions keeping in mind the conditions in South Africa.
We have worked on individual skill building, power hitting and enhancing our fielding capabilities." "We have also done a lot of match simulations. Our team has been shaping well and we have a number of players who can do well in South Africa.
We have several experienced players and a few new, exciting youngsters. The team is well-balanced and we are all really looking forward to doing well in South Africa."
Chamari, the left-handed opening batter, thinks that the T20 format is a massive boon for women's cricket and helps in popularising the game. "The T20 format is the most exciting element in women's cricket and is playing a great role in promoting the women's game.
The shorter version, quick finishes and the excitement is unparalleled and make women's cricket very interesting." Sri Lanka will play their first match of the tournament on February 10 against South Africa in Cape Town and Chamari signed off by hoping the side does well in the African nation.
"In South Africa, we expect pace and bounce, but we are really looking forward to the challenges." "We are adequately prepared and see no reason why we will not do well. South Africa is an incredible place to visit and play cricket.
The game has a big following in the region, and I am sure it will augur well for us to have a good tournament."