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TWO-TON/19 WICKET CHANAKA RUWANSIRI: All-rounder of tremendous potential

By Srian Obeyesekere

A cricketer of tremendous all-round potential is Chanaka Ruwansiri, the Lankan CC skipper who struck two big cenuries 124 and 165 and four half centuries while reaping 19 wickets in the concluded 2020 Sri Lanka Major League Tier ‘A’ Super Eight Tournment. A striking feature about 25-year Ruwansiri’s cricket was his positive approach to stay focussed against the odds and come out ham fisted in a type of personl milestone gain leading a team of limited player resources in contrast to the superior teams that held sway. As it was Lankan CC, a team with small mercies did not go the distance in that gallop to trophy glitter, but it was the gall displayed by this right hand batsman and right arm leg break bowler that set him out in the countdown to recognising individual performances which is key towards top flight mainstream national representation. Finishing sixth among the top ten batsmen in the tournament aggregating 645 runs and slamming 26 sixes was personally industrious. What is still more significant about the batting of this native from Piliyandala, who cut his teeth in the game at Piliyandala Central College, is his appetitite for runs whatever the situation his side has faced in thick or thin.

That his game has nourished playing in English club cricket having represented Rushden Sports Club in the Hampshire League for five seasons from 2016 to September 2019 lends credence of a player for the future.  A tally of 1120 runs in 2016 and aggregating between 800 to 900 runs averaging 50 and 35 to 40 wickets stood him out for Rushden.

Born on October 14, 1989, Ruwansiri’s school cricket career at Piliyandala Central peaked to the fruition of emerging the 2007-08 Observer Outstation Best Allrounder and the Daily Mirror Best Allrounder Runner-up. He went on to make the grade playing for the Sri Lanka U19 Schools’ XI in 2007. He was to make the big leap to domestic cricket captaining the Sri Lanka Navy SC in 2011when the side emerged champions in the B Division 3-day champonship and limited over runners-up. Having represented three clubs thus far including Saracens SC , Ruwansiri, who bid goodbye to Lankan CC at the end of this season to rejoin the Navy as No.4 or 5 batsman cum coach on a 2-year contract, credits Ruwan Peiris for mentoring him thus far. His parting words are,“My ambition is to make the top grade at national level to represent my country.”

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