Kumar Dharmasena : Brings glory to Mother Lanka | Sunday Observer

Kumar Dharmasena : Brings glory to Mother Lanka

1 November, 2020
The Dharmasena family
The Dharmasena family

umar Dharmasena is a talented and versatile son that Mother Lanka can be truly proud of. He has done much to place his Motherland on the global talent with his prowess with the bat and ball. After his retirement as a professional player Dharmasena now serves as a member of the elite panel of umpires of the ICC. He has also turned to his other passion, planting and is making his mark in the local and foreign markets especially with his Agarwood plantation and oud oil production.

Early years

Handunnetige Deepthi Priyantha Dharmasena saw the light of day on April 24, 1971 in Colombo. His father is Handunettige Dharmasena and his mother is Chandrani Dahanayake.

According to Kumar, he started wielding the bat and ball almost as soon as he could walk. It was with a plastic bat and ball that he made his first foray into the world of cricket,Growing up in the Government Servants’ quarters at Torrington ,Kumar had the advantage of having a fine playground in front of his house and many friends to play with.

One day while batting with a will Kumar slammed a ball right through a neigbour’s window shttering the glass. The irate lady of the house blasted the young cricket players so upset was she. “She scolded us as if we had committed a terrible crime,” recalled Kumar. His parents bore the cost of the repairs to the window.

Cricket was Kumar’s passion and he took the first step to becoming a professional cricketer when he was selected to the under-13 team of his Alma Mater, Nalanda Vidyalaya, Colombo.


From the time he first wielded the bat and spun the ball in the under-13 team of Naland College, Kumar Dharmasena never looked back. He went from strength to strength playing in the Big Match against Ananda College popularly known as the ‘Battle of the Maroons’.

A right hand batsman and right arm off spinner (right arm off break) his playing role has been categorised as an all rounder. Kumar has also left an indelible print in Sri Lankan Club Cricket. Dharmasena has played for Bloomfield Cricket and Athletic Club, Moratuwa Sports Club and the Nondescripts Cricket Club.

Dharmasena came into the international cricket arena 1994. His test debut was the Sri Lanka vs South Africa test match played at the SSC Grounds from September 6-10, 1993. He was just 22 years of age when he debuted in Test Cricket. He has played 31 Test Matches and his last test match was the Sri Lanka vs Australia from May 8-12 in Galle.

His first overseas cricket encounter was against Zimbabwe at Bulawayo. It was a follow on for Sri Lanka and Dharmasena was an overnight batsman. (Night watchman) He scored half-a- century and greatly helped his team and Motherland.

Kumar Dharmasena has played in 141 ODIs .

This very talented cricketer gave up competitive cricket in November 2006 and took to umpiring.

International umpire

After hanging up his pads Dharmasena made his international umpiring debut in 2009 and was a member of the panel of 18 umpires selected for the World Cup in India in 2011 and officiated in the tournament opener between Bangladesh and India in Mirpur. He was also promoted to the Elite Panel of ICC Umpires later in 2009.

He also officiated at the 2015 and 2019 World cup matches as an ICC Elite Panel Umpire and has the distinction of being the only Sri Lankan to do so. He also has the distinction of being ranked as No.1 in the Elite Panel in 2012 and 2018.

Kumar – the Planter

Kumar Dharmasena’s other passion is planting. “I love to plant,” he says. For several decades he has been involved in the management of the family plantation Pintanna in Ayagama, in the salubrious district of Ratnapura. The 150-acre property is known for its tea, rubber,cinnamon and pepper and has of recent years become well recognised for its Oud oil, made from Agarwood. Dharmasena has put his heart and soul into this Agarwood project and has imported trees from countries like Malaysia.

His inspiration to venture into this field came from an Indian friend, he himself a fourth generation producer of Oud oil. Kumar has the remarkable achievement of being the only Sri Lankan with an export permit for these products. He is expanding the business which is headquartered in Colombo. He recently opened his first branch in Galle and plans for others are in the pipeline.

Kumar Dharmasena now gives service to his Motherland by bring in foreign exchange and providing employment to fellow Sri Lankans. Forty three families live on the Pintanna Estate and his employment cadre in the office numbers around 30.

Venturing into the perfume industry is Kumar’s, future venture He will be producing fragrances for both discerning males and females. Something to look forward to indeed!

Kumar is married to Dushanthi and they have a son and three daughters. Son Kavishka is finishing his studies at Monash, Malaysia while eldest daughter Ashalya has gained entry into a State University. The two younger daughters Amanya and Diyenka are students at Visakha Vidyalaya, Colombo 4.

A cricketer’s qualities

A love and passion for cricket, commitment and dedication and the willingness to work hard are essential to succeed in the sport says Kumar.