I can bowl at 140 kph - Eranga

April 11, 2011

Shaminda Eranga
Upcoming speedster Shaminda Eranga could make his debut this year. © Island Cricket/ Shaminda ERANGA.

In November last year, with the then chairman of selectors Aravinda de Silva disclosing that Sri Lanka's fast bowling department was in a transitional phase, the selectors included a virtually unknown 24-year-old Shaminda Eranga in the squad for the second Test against West Indies.

Although, Eranga played no part in the Test match, many were left wondering where the fast bowler came from and who he was.

In an exclusive interview with Island Cricket, Eranga explains how he was discovered, his progress as a professional cricketer and his abilities with both the bat and ball.

You came from nowhere to be selected for the squad for the second Test against West Indies in November last year; how did that happen?

I was first discovered in 2006 in an all-island ‘Pace Ace’ competition. Champaka Ramanayake and Anusha Samaranayake, who are now my fast bowling coaches, picked me up at that competition.

I then played for Chilaw Marians and got a chance to play at the division-one premier league tournament, which opened the way for me to get into the Sri Lanka development squad.

After that, I got a chance to play provincial level tournaments.

Finally, I got into the Sri Lanka-A squad. It has been a long hard road before I was selected for the Test squad in November.

Did you play cricket in school?

I played cricket and football when I was at St. Mary’s College in Chilaw. I played cricket from the under-13 level to under-19, and I was a good all-rounder back then, too.

Even today, I play both sports. But cricket is my life now and football is a hobby.

When you were picked for the Sri Lankan squad, did the selectors speak to you about their plans for your future? Do you have an idea of when you will be making your debut, or have you heard nothing since?

Shaminda ErangaChampaka Ramanayake generally advises me, but I am not sure what kind of plans they have for me. I have been given a good start, thanks to a rare opportunity, and I have learned a lot already.

I am continuing my practises and I’m ready for any challenge.

What is the fastest you have clocked on the speed gun?

I can bowl at 140 km/h, which is my fastest. I think that’s pretty good.

As a bowler, what is your greatest strength? Do you move the ball both ways?

Yes, I can move the ball both ways.

Fast bowlers must be healthy and in good physical condition, and I am in peak physical condition. My ability to bowl fast, my physical fitness and the ability to move it both ways are my strengths.

You scored 69 not-out against Basnahira, in an Inter-Provincial Limited Over Tournament match, played on January 20; do you consider yourself as an all-rounder, or purely a bowler who can bat a bit?

I know I can bat well, and in that match you speak of, I got a great opportunity to prove my ability with the bat. Even though I am considered a bowler, I have never forgotten the basics with the bat.

I’m also a good fielder.

What is your most memorable performance in domestic cricket?

Every match and every performance is special for me, but one performance I enjoyed was against South Africa A, when I was playing for Sri Lanka A at the SSC in Colombo. It is the most important day of my career and a turning point for me.

Shaminda Eranga was speaking with Island Cricket's Hilal Suhaib.

© Island Cricket

Comments

Sujan's picture
Member since:
27 December 2008
Last activity:
10 hours 35 min

Haven't heard about this youngster. Hope he can make it big.

I also have much expectation from Nuwan Pradeep.

Sakala Bujang's picture
Member since:
8 April 2011
Last activity:
14 hours 16 min

Good find,

NOW GET HIM ON THE PITCH!!
:D

SunJ's picture
Member since:
25 January 2010
Last activity:
45 weeks 20 hours

Ive heard a lot about this guy,Aravinda also thought very highly of him,saw him bowling during the local tournament semis which were televised,he bowled quite well,looks pacy,got some good swing as well,we might see him on the England tour

Anonymous's picture

I hope the new selection committee carries on with Ara's good work and doesnt forget about these guys.

Nilan 's picture

Speed is key in international cricket. If you want to trouble top batsmen you have to bowl at 140 or above. No point playing guys like Kulasekara. You saw what happens right (eg: WC final).

All Australian bowlers bowl at 140 clicks or more. They dont bother with guys slower.

Marcian's picture
Member since:
8 December 2010
Last activity:
5 weeks 1 day

I'm a big fan of Shaminda Eranga, great find and star of the future!

It would be nice to see Shamnida Eranga and Suranga Lakmal open the bowling in Test matches.

Sujan, he's much better than Nuwan Pradeep, in my opinion.

Sanki8OH8's picture
Member since:
27 March 2010
Last activity:
19 weeks 1 day

Excited! Hope this guy gets to play.

@Nuwan, fast bowling is not all about pace by the way. Vaas used to bowl in mid 130s at the start of his carrier and dropped to 120s later, but I'm sure you know how he turned out. It's a complicated art which has many methods to achieve the goal of taking wickets.

Stormy's picture
Member since:
15 January 2011
Last activity:
16 hours 27 min

Pace alone is not what its about, Vaas and Zak are prime examples. Pace is great if its used properly and Steyn and Akram are the best examples moving it both ways at pace and the most lethal form. SL has never been a run away pace nation - that actually sounds funny! Vaas I think captures what SL should look for - pure skill and control of swing and control.

Folks its time to recognize Champaka - this guy has done some real hard yards along the years finding pace bowlers and continues to do so for many years and we wish him well. Do we have such a spin talent hunter - we should, after all that's our strength and should actually be the focus.

Charith Lowe's picture

I wish u all the best for your future.and I know you can do it better.

true pakistani 's picture

both indian and srilankan pacers are nothing compared to pakistanis our childrens playing in gully can bowl faster than 140, not like ur bowlers esp indians who dont hv power n stamina to bowl fast our afridi can bowl faster than indian bowlers

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