Peace-maker Bhanuka Rajapakse throws in the towel | Page 2 | Sunday Observer

Peace-maker Bhanuka Rajapakse throws in the towel

9 January, 2022

Bhanuka Rajapakse (second from left) holds back and calms down his team-mate fast bowler Lahiru Kumara during a confrontation with Bangladesh batsman Liton Das during the T20 last November. Also in the frame is Sri Lanka allrounder Chamika Karunaratne (left) and Das’ batting partner Mohamad Niam (right)

Just when his fans may have thought he put behind a string of failures and got into some run-making habit, Bhanuka Rajapakse has called it quits taking most people by surprise.

One of the few peace-loving cricketers on the field of play, Rajapakse told his employer Sri Lanka Cricket that “family obligations” had compelled him to throw in the towel and move out.

“I have very carefully considered my position as a player, husband and am taking this decision looking forward to fatherhood and associated familial obligations,” he said in his letter of resignation to Sri Lanka Cricket.

The 30-year old Rajapakse represented Sri Lanka in five ODIs with a top score of 65 and batted 15 times in T20 Internationals for an aggregate of 320 and a highest individual score of 77.

He was one of the players who braved a Sri Lanka tour of Pakistan in 2018 after the big guns chickened out over security fears and returned with a team with Dasun Shanaka as captain. His shock exit has become a mystery to his fans who saw him as a born-again player who overcame a terrible bad patch and struck form in recent weeks.

Others claim he had been enticed by overseas T20 leagues and hence his desire to refer to his exit as “resigning” (as an employee of Sri Lanka Cricket) and not retiring from cricket.

He will be remembered among other aspects of his Sri Lanka career for intervening in a near-violent on-field confrontation between his team mate fast bowler Lahiru Kumara and Bangladesh batter Liton Das during a match last year.