Lakshan played most crucial role in Galle Gladiators reaching LPL final | Sunday Observer

Lakshan played most crucial role in Galle Gladiators reaching LPL final

20 December, 2020
Dhananjaya Lakshan takes the wicket of Dambulla Vikings batsman Niroshan Dickwella
Dhananjaya Lakshan takes the wicket of Dambulla Vikings batsman Niroshan Dickwella

Promising allrounder Dhananjaya Lakshan said that it was a dream come true for him to win the man of the match award after leading his Galle Gladiators team into the final of the Lanka Premier League.

“It was a dream come truth to win the man of the man of the match award”, the 22 year old former Sri Lanka under 19 player who was initially among the substitutes picked for Galle Gladiators in the LPL draft.

But he impressed the coaching team headed by former Pakistan wicket keeper Moin Khan and bowling coach Upul Chandana that the Galle Gladiators were compelled to pick him that changed their fortunes.

His in-swinging delivery to take the wicket of Dinesh Chandimal in the semi final made everyone open their eyes to his potential. He was a substitute player of the team but his dedication at practices earned him a place after the Gladiators lost the first two games.

“Bowling coach Upul Chandana was highly impressed with my abilities and as a result from the third match I was lucky to have a permanent place in the side. I am very happy the way I played this tournament with more determination and taking the wicket of Dinesh Chandima was very special to me,” said Lakshan.

The left-hand bat and right-arm medium paceman Lakshan started his cricket career under Dhanushka Denagama at his private Cricket Academy in 2009 and represented Richmond College from under 13 level before playing four First Eleven seasons under coach Dhammika Sudarshana and assistant coach Lakmal de Silva.

He captained Richmond in 2018 after hitting a century in the big match against Mahinda College in the previous year. His team mates were Charith Asalanka, Wanindu Hasaranga de Silva and Kamindu Mendis who all played in the LPL.

In 2018 Lakshan was a member of the Sri Lanka under-19 squad which was coached by Roy Dias and played in the Youth Asia Cup in Malaysia, toured India for a series and represented Sri Lanka at the Youth World Cup in New Zealand in 2018 where he scored an unbeaten 101 against Ireland during a record partnership of 162 with school mate Kamindu Mendis.

He first played club cricket for Singhe SC and Galle CC while still a schoolboy and then moved to Colombo where he enrolled at Colts Cricket Club.

“I had to prove myself against Sri Lanka players Angelo Mathews, Kusal Perera Dilruwan Perera and Akila Dananjaya while there was also Avishka Fernando.

“I soon realised that club cricket was not like school where I opened the batting and bowling. At club I had to bat at any position I was told to and this was another challenge. The experience I gained playing in the the Premier League and limited over tournaments prepared me for tournaments like the LPL,” said Lakshan.

“My team mate at Galle Gladiators Mohammad Amir the Pakistan paceman gave me some good tips which was very important that I was able to overcome the pressure while skipper Bhanuka Rajapakse and the other seniors encouraged me .We had good unity to came back in the tournament after losing five matches in a row,” said Lakshan.