She first burst onto the scene with a century against Ireland Women in 2011, but the biggest impact knock of her career remains her 62 in a one-wicket win over England Women in the 2013 World Cup in Mumbai.
In the nine ODI wins she has been a part of, she has made four half-centuries, signifying her importance in the side. She is also the only Sri Lankan to score two ODI centuries. She fell one short of scoring her third ton, against Pakistan Women in January 2015.
Athapaththu lost her father soon after being selected to the national team for the first time, but has used the setback as an inspiration to keep her career moving. Outside of cricket, Athapaththu works for a bank in Colombo.
Precious Marange (Zimbabwe)
A twin international, having represented Zimbabwe in rugby too, Precious Marange is an example of those versatile personalities who make the women’s cricket circuit vibrant. A veteran at 34, Marange works as a machine operator when not playing sports, and is a mother too.
She wants her son to be a pilot. The ability to manage her time between the four passions of her life is the secret to her success as an international athlete. “I give each department time,” she says.
A destructive left-handed top-order batter, her strength is to push the scoring rate along. She was at her best in the Africa Qualifiers last year where she was the only batter to score a fifty and Zimbabwe was the only team to remain unbeaten to top the table.
A right-arm medium pacer, she picked up a lot of top-order wickets when Zimbabwe played against South Africa Emerging Women in Harare last year as part of its preparation for the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier. She finished with eight wickets in six matches at an average of 20.37, with a best of 3 for 20.