Asalanka: Sri Lanka’s rising young star | Sunday Observer

Asalanka: Sri Lanka’s rising young star

Charith Asalanka
Charith Asalanka

Charith Asalanka the all-rounder and captain of Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC) performed exceptionally well during the Major Emerging League cricket tournament as his team won the title and in the process nudged the national selectors on yet another occasion.

He started with an unbeaten 65 against Negombo CC in this tournament and then ended with a superb knock of 115 with three sixes and 13 fours in the final against Colts at the R. Premadasa Stadium.

The 21-year old Asalanka said he was very keen to play cricket from his childhood and credits his parents with his success.

A product of Richmond College, Asalanka came under the guidance of coach Dhammika Sudharshana and went on to captain the Sri Lanka youth team at the World Cup in Bangladesh in 2016.

But it was not until he enrolled at the SSC that Asalanka began to blossom into a competitive player.

“Playing in the Premier League and knock-out tournament always gives you a lot of exposure with players like Dimuth Karunaratne, Kaushal Silva, Dhanushka Gunatilleka, Dhammika Prasad, Sachitra Senananayake and Jeffrey Vendasay. Playing for SSC alone is a big challenge. It’s the best club that everyone wants to play for”, said Asalanka.

Asalanka missed out on a place in the Sri Lanka team for the second Test against England in the concluded home series when he was brought in as cover for an injured Dinesh Chandimal after he made 68 in a warm-up match against the touring team.

“Playing against bowlers like Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid and Chris Woakes gave me another experience and this is important to build an international career”, said Asalanka. “I have a dream to represent the Sri Lanka side. There will be disappointments but what matters is how you face up to the challenges and whenever there is a chance for me I don’t hold anything back. I give a hundred percent or more.”

Asalanka has already represented the Sri Lanka second string team on tours of Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. In Zimbabwe Asalanka scored superb century for the Sri Lanka Development Emerging team against Zimbabwe Development team at Harare and his knock was highly praised by the experts.

Asalanka is considered a shot-maker, a feature that will be acknowledged by his Sri Lanka A team coach Avishka Gunawardena and the present coach of SSC Thilina Kandamby.