Asanka Gurusinha - The Winner of 1985 | Sunday Observer

Asanka Gurusinha - The Winner of 1985

25 April, 2021

Asanka Gurusinha is a former Sri Lankan cricketer who enjoyed an 11-year international career, playing 41 Tests and 147 One Day Internationals for Sri Lanka. He was a specialist batsman who helped win the 1996 World Cup final with 65 in a partnership of 125 with the final’s Man of the Match, Aravinda de Silva. He studied at Isipathana College, Colombo and then joined Nalanda College Colombo. He now lives in Melbourne, Australia.

Gurusinha was selected as the Sunday Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year 1985, the year he captained Nalanda College.

At the tail-end of his school cricket career, Gurusinha, went further to stamp his class as a future Test prospect when he scored an unbeaten century in the 56th Ananda-Nalanda ’Big’ cricket encounter and immediately followed it up by scoring a century for a Board President’s XI against a touring Indian team captained by Kapil Dev.

Gurusinha played in 41 Test matches and 147 ODIs and was the 32nd Test ‘cap’ for his country. His has seven Test hundreds and eight Test 50s. He has scored centuries against Pakistan (1), New Zealand (3), Australia (2) and Zimbabwe (1). Against Pakistan, Gurusinha batted at number three and gradually cemented his place. Being a strongly built left-hander Gurusinha provided the much needed solidarity in the side’s batting.

Gurusinha now domiciled in Australia brought back nostalgic memories, saying that the Sunday Observer/Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year contest during his time was a highly competitive one with highly talented schoolboys in many schools vying for honours.

Gurusinha was called up at 19 as a wicket-keeper, a role he took in a further two ODIs and one Test and was one of the main pillars of Sri Lanka’s 1996 World Cup winning batting line up. His application at the crisis situations to drag the team through was a major highlight for those who watched the World Series tournament back in 1996.