Has Sri Lanka discovered a budding left arm fast bowler? | Sunday Observer

Has Sri Lanka discovered a budding left arm fast bowler?

Dilshan Madushanka
Dilshan Madushanka

Sri Lanka Emerging Team coach Chaminda Vaas has earmarked promising fast bowler Dilshan Madushanka to make the grade after some recent performances.

Vaas believes that Madushanka can fit into his shoes after the 18-year-old left arm paceman from Hungama Vijayaba National School displayed much promise for the Emerging team.

Madushanka started playing cricket from under-15 level at school under the guidance of his first coach Ilangaratne. The school did not have a First Eeven team but he had the chance to enter the district team.

It was during that time that Madushanka was asked to report to the Sooriyawewa ground in Hambantota to bowl at the Sri Lanka under-19 team during practices in preparation for the series against the Indian under-19 team.

“I did not have the proper cricket equipment at that time and I think that was the turning point of my cricket career,” revealed Madushanka.

“I bowled very well at the nets and the fast bowling coach Chaminda Vaas was really impressed. He took my phone number and one day I got a surprise call from Vaas. He invited me to come for practices in Colombo.”

Madushanka then played in an under-20 tournament and captured seven wickets against CCC.

Thereafter he was selected to the national under-19 squad under head coach Hashan Tillekaratne and played in the series against Australia. Thereafter he played four out of five matches against Pakistan under-19 and was the highest wicket taker for Sri Lanka.

With these impressive performances Madushanka got the opportunity to play in the Emerging team during the tour of South Africa with an eye on the Youth World Cup scheduled to be played in South Africa next year.

In the recently concluded under-19 Asian Cup held in Sri Lanka, Madushanka took three wickets each against Nepal and Bangladesh.

Madushanka faced many difficulties during his school days. His father was a fisherman and did not like him playing cricket with the emphasis on studies. “I used to sneak out of the house for matches with the help of my mother. Now my father watches a lot of cricket on television and even comes to the ground to watch me play,” said Madushanka.

“Our standard at school was not high and thanks to our district coach Manjula Karunaratne I was able to be selected to the District team and then the Provincial team,” added Madushanka.

He played softball cricket during his early days and was never at home during the weekends.

“If not for Vaas I wouldn’t have been here. He helped me a lot after Manjula Karunaratne who spotted me and gave me a chance at district and provincial levels. I know that I have a long journey to go and hope to get more experience to build up on my cricketing career,” said Madushanka.