Over the Moon stuff
Wanidu Hasaranga, who has proved to be one of Sri Lanka’s most promising recent all-round finds in the last two years, did bring that promise to fruition in becoming the Player of the Series of the historic Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) staged 20-20 Lanka Premier League 2020-21. The 23-year old Pinnaduwage Wanidu Hasaranga’s 17 wickets as the tournament highest wicket taker is indeed over the moon stuff given the nature of the mega event that pitted a galaxy of top international talent in the fray in the inaugural championship. His tournament performances read 14 runs and 3 for 15 vs. Dambulla Vikings, 41 and 2 for 23 vs. Colombo Kings, 24 and 1 for 24 vs. Vikings, 2 for 12 vs. Galle Gladiators, 5 and 2 for 17 vs. Kandy Tuskers, 2 for 19 and 17 n.o. vs. Gladiators, 41 and 2 for 23 vs. Colombo Kings, 1 for 0 vs. Vikings, 2 and 2 for 34 vs. Tuskers 1 for 31 and 23 n.o. vs. Colombo Kings and 3 and 1 for 20 vs. Gladiators.
It is noteworthy that this product from down South Galle, made his presence felt when he starred in the final of the premier local tournament in his club the CCC emerging champions in 2019. That year his wicket taking all-round effort was showcased by a match winning unbeaten 60-odd in the final against the Chilaw Marians. It proved to be the turning point in the youngster turning his international career to being regarded as a potential match winner. Having made his ODI debut in 2017 against Zimbabwe in a home series he created history by claiming a hat-trick. that he had been in and out of the team to catching the eyes of the selectors big. Since then Wanidu was selected for national duty in the country’s next international commitment, but was a non starter due to an injury he suffered in the CCC versus C hilaw Marians final from which he had not fully recovered.
But having being thus sidelined, it was not to deter Wanidu who was so persevering that his belief that more and more net practice was key to raising his game. It spurred him on to fine tuning his leg break and googly to good effect. That the hard work has been they pay off to becoming the most prized player in the concluded Lanka Premier League has indeed served in raising his stock in propelling Wanidu Hasaranga in a giant leap to the international spectrum. This is one of the high successes reaped by Sri Lanka Cricket’s odyssey of introducing the version of the Indian Premier League (IPL). That he has become the better by his latest Player of the Series achievement is serenading to self and country fresh in the portals of such a extravaganza which is Sri Lanka Cricket’s ambitious drive to taking the country’s cricket at the grass roots level to the next level by the exposure of local talent to playing among and against international players. babwe in June 2017, with his fielding also cited as a reason for his selection. And what a debut it subsequently was; he became the third debutant in ODI history to claim a hat-trick when he wiped out Zimbabwe’s tail with the 14th, 15th and 16th deliveries of his international career.