For an aspiring cricketer who was driven to publicly stating that if his big dream of playing fior his country did not materialise that he would then regrettably turn to a music career that also beckoned him, the late call up for Ishan Jayaratne at age 31 is indeed a pulsating joyful turnaround to his career.
Indeed, England is the destination beckoning the former Wesley College product and Ragama CC all-rounder to raise his hands to make his cricket dream come true. Cast in a 24-member squad, the ground is set for the right hand batsman and right arm medium fast bowler to get the nod in either T20 or ODI level with three matches each respectively on the cards. Of course, Jayaratne will have to make the grade in a challenging cast of several aspirants with just two practice matches on the cards on June 18 and 20 ahead of the series’ kicking off with the T20 leg on June 23, and it will be interesting whether skipper Kusal Janith Perera and the rest of the team management will afford him the opportunity to come good or bank on his performances in domestic cricket on which he won a call up for some compelling scores and wickets.
Born on June 26, 1989, Jayaratne has a run aggregate of 2219 first class runs with the one century 123 and 9 half centuries from 85 matches averaging 22.19 and strike rate of 72.73.
He has a fair tally of wicket taking performances – 5 for 31 vs. SL Army, 4 for 53 vs. Galle CC, 3 for 52 vs. NCC, 2 for 52 Vs. Tamil Union in April. His career record is of 194 wickets from 85 first class matches with best of 7 for 37 and best match haul of 8 for 116 averaging 29.09 with 4 5-wicket hauls and 6 4-wicket hauls with 3.74 economy rate.