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Sri Lankan Cricket’s generation X- Part 1

There was a time when Sri Lanka lost the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 and it was time for the legends of Sri Lankan Cricket to retire, leaving behind a big hole in the prestigious Sri Lankan Cricket team, many young and old cricketers were tried there since but none prevailed.

By Osanda Gunaratna

There was a time when Sri Lanka lost the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 and it was time for the legends of Sri Lankan Cricket to retire, leaving behind a big hole in the prestigious Sri Lankan Cricket team, many young and old cricketers were tried there since but none prevailed.

Sri Lanka quite shockingly lost all four tests and ODI series they played home and away, also if I must add getting all out for 43 vs South Africa, the SLC team was heading towards a painful death in International Cricket, with massive all-round changes made to the team as well as the administration.

Enter Mahela Jayawardene as Captain and Graham Ford as coach; Sri Lanka arrived on Australian soil in the hope to regain lost pride. The SLC team fought valiantly to display their brand of cricket in the CB series so far which consists the world most dangerous ODI sides.

However most heartening aspect of the Sri Lankan Cricket team is the emergence and exuberance of youth during the CB Series 2012 which is actually a learning experience for them to reach the top. Sri Lanka Cricket’s future looks very promising especially with the mix of youth and experience in the side, looking forward to the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup.

Dinesh Chandimal
As many critics and Sri Lanka’s seniors would praise and acclaim, Dinesh Chandimal Lokuge would promisingly be the future of Sri Lankan Batsmen. TM Dilshan once said Chandimal is capable in the long run to make 10000 runs in both ODIs and Tests, if the youngster is aspiring to. An elegant right hander with touch of Marvan Atapattu, is very capable to play the long innings as well as to use the long handle.

Chandimal originally from Ambalangoda, in the South of Sri Lanka got the opportunity due to his talent to study at Ananda College and piled on the runs to be selected as the School boy cricketer of the year in the year 2008.As a wicket-keeper batsman for NCC, he scored many runs and got the opportunity to represent Sri Lanka in 2010 in the tour of Zimbabwe, where in just his second match scored his maiden ODI century, however he was unlucky to miss out in the ICC CWC 2011, but came back with a bang making his 2nd ODI century at Lords.

Chandimal also got the chance to play for Ruhuna in CLT20 2011, where he scored back to back 50s to boost his team. The youngster seems to be growing in stature when he made the most of the test series scoring 2 fifties and was Sri Lanka’s highest run-getter with over 200 runs in the ODI series in South Africa.

With 300+ runs Dinesh Chandimal sits comfortably as the top run scorer in the CB Series currently being held Down Under, with 3 fifties to his name. The youngster has indeed gone places, Sri Lanka’s batting future surely rest on young Chandimal’s shoulders and will expect more support from his seniors and also juniors.

Angelo Mathews                                                                                                      

Undoubtedly Sri Lanka’s best all-round talent who can bat, bowl and field well in any given situation and also Sri Lanka Cricket’s heir to the throne in the lead up to the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup. A cool mind under pressure, a game finisher like India’s MS Dhoni, a potential wicket taker and a brilliant fielder.

Angelo Mathews comes out as a bonus package of 3 in 1.His performances speaks for itself, in 2009 and 2010 World T20s he was remarkable with his all-round abilities, that he was Sri Lanka’s opening bowler and provided wickets upfront and also finished off tight games with the bat, that went down to the wire.

Angelo Mathews was instrumental in a run-chase vs Australia at the MCG in 2010 were SLC team was in the jaws of defeat and put up a 130 run match winning partnership with Lasith Malinga to propel Sri Lanka to an impossible 1 wicket victory where he scored 77 runs. Mathews also scored his maiden test century vs Australia at the SSC in 2011.

Mathews jolted India in the Compaq Cup in 2009, where he bagged a 6 wicket haul, his best in ODIs to power SL to the final.
Angelo rediscovered form in the CB Series from the start where he took 7 wickets in 6 matches and also scored 187 runs at a whopping average of 62 runs. It is up to Captain-in the making Angelo Mathews to steady the SLC ship , for the future generation X.

To be continued………….

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