Cricketer Charith Asalanka, a valuable player - Retired cricketers | Sunday Observer

Cricketer Charith Asalanka, a valuable player - Retired cricketers

26 September, 2021
Charith Asalanka won the Mobitel-Sunday Observer School Cricketer of the Year award in 2015 and 2016
Charith Asalanka won the Mobitel-Sunday Observer School Cricketer of the Year award in 2015 and 2016

Charith Asalanka is a player who must be nurtured intelligently, retired veteran cricketers in the country told the Youth Observer after reviewing his performance at the end of the South African tour of Sri Lanka recently.

The Youth Observer discussed Charith’s abilities with retired veteran cricketers and with Charith and his parents recently.

Charith Asalanka

“We live in Elpitiya and my son first attended Ananda Vidyalaya in Elpitiya. After he passed the Grade Five scholarship examination he had enough marks to enter Ananda College, Colombo, however, fate decided otherwise and he went to Richmond College, Galle instead,” Asalanka’s mother, K.A. Thanuja told the Youth Observer.

“My brother Indika Anandajeewa, an Old Anandian, was keen to see that my son entered Ananda College, Colombo. However, his sudden demise put paid to those hopes and we decided to send our son to Richmond College where he started playing cricket and gradually improved his skills,” she said.

Asalanka’s father, a businessman in the South, Vijith Priyantha said, “‘We gave maximum support to our son’s cricket journey. We never obstructed him. He is generally a calm person and devoted to religion. I think that helped him to find success in cricket.”

Charith regularly attended the Sunday Daham Pasala which has helped him to have a positive attitude in life.

“Charith organises a religious ceremony at the temple to mark his birthday every year. He continues it even to this day. We also help him to organise the ceremony,” his mother said proudly.

Mobitel-Sunday Observer School Cricketer

Charith said, “I won the Mobitel-Sunday Observer School Cricketer of the Year award in 2015 and 2016. This encouraged me to continue my cricket and dream of representing the country one day.”

He is the seventh player to win the schoolboy cricketer award twice. “My son was the first Richmond student two win this award and we are very happy about it,” his mother Thanuja said.

In 2015, he also won the runner-up award for Best Bowler and in 2016 he also won the title of Best Batsman at the Mobitel-Sunday Observer School Cricketer of the Year contest.

He was later selected to represent the Sri Lanka Youth team where he performed well. The National Selectors noted his performance and he was appointed captain of the under-19 team in 2014-15 when the Sri Lanka team played against Australia and Bangladesh.

In 2017, he was appointed as Vice Captain of the Sri Lanka A team. In 2018-19 he captained the Sri Lanka Emerging team in the Asian tournaments.

Charith Asalanka captained the national youth team in the South Asian cricket tournament.

Several retired veteran cricketers of Sri Lanka believe that Charith is a talented cricketer with a promising future. During his younger days he represented the Galle Cricket Club. He then joined the SSC. He has also played for Mohammedan Sports Club in Bangladesh in T20 matches and is a member of the Jaffna Stallions.

Powerful batsman

They said that Charith is turning out to be a stylish and powerful batsman and he must be nurtured carefully. “He will play a big role in the cricket arena in the country one day. Several talented players fell by the wayside as they were not taken care of properly.”

Charith has now been selected to the national team and was selected as the Man of the Series in the series against South Africa in Sri Lanka recently.

He has now been selected to the Sri Lanka squad for the T20 World Cup to be held in Oman next year. As he is a good off spin bowler it will help balance the team. As he has a bright future he must be nurtured carefully, the senior players said.

The social life, money and other opportunities lead the players’ mind stray. The off-field behaviour of several players was not good and the Cricket Board had to punish them by imposing bans on them.

However, the senior players believe that Charith Asalanka has a strong head on his shoulders and would be able to manage the pressures of playing international cricket well. His parents were also of the same view.

The Youth Observer wishes him success in his future endeavours.