In men’s international cricket, Sri Lanka is represented by their National Men’s Cricket Team, also known as The Lions. It has received Test, ODI, and T20 International (T20I) status and is a Full Member of the International Cricket Council (ICC). Sri Lanka played its first cricket match in 1926–1927. After receiving Test status in 1981, Sri Lanka became the eighth country to play Test cricket. The team is controlled by Sri Lanka Cricket. Let’s discuss the top 10 famous Sri Lankan cricketers of all time.
1. Kumar Sangakkara
Kumar Sangakkara was born on 27 October 1977. He is a former cricket player, Sri Lankan cricket commentator, ICC Hall of Fame inductee, and the former president of Marylebone Cricket Club. He is one of the greatest batsmen in the history of the sport. At various stages during his career, he was ranked among the top three batsmen in the world in each of the three formats of the game. He is the team’s current IPL coach for the Rajasthan Royals. In his 15-year cricket career, Sangakkara scored 28,016 runs in all formats. He was the second-highest run scorer in ODI cricket (behind only Sachin Tendulkar) and the sixth-highest run-scorer in Test cricket at the time of his retirement.
Sangakkara played a major portion of his playing career as both a wicket-keeper and a left-handed top-order batsman. He also holds the record for the most wicket-keeping dismissals in ODI cricket. Sangakkara received the ICC Cricketer of the Year in 2012 and won many other awards for both Test and ODI cricket. He was chosen as the world’s top cricketer in the Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack’s 2012 and 2015 editions. He is the second player to receive this honour twice. In a 2016 public poll, Sangakkara was voted the greatest ODI player of all time by Cricket Australia’s audience. He was a member of the team that advanced to the final of the 2007 Cricket World Cup, the 2011 Cricket World Cup, the 2009 ICC World Twenty20, and the 2012 ICC World Twenty20 tournaments, where he was awarded Man of the Match honours.
2. Muttiah Muralitharan (One Of The Famous Sri Lankan Cricketers)
Muttiah Muralitharan was born on 17 April 1972. He is a former cricketer, coach for Sri Lanka, and inductee into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame. Muralitharan is the most successful and one of the greatest bowlers in the history of the sport, taking over six wickets on average per Test match. He is the only bowler with more than 530 One Day International (ODI) wickets and 800 Test wickets. He was the bowler with the most wickets in international cricket as of 2022.
For a record-breaking 1,711 days over 214 Test matches, Muralitharan held the top spot among Test bowlers in the ICC’s player rankings. On December 3rd, 2007, he passed Shane Warne to become the most prolific wicket-taker in Test cricket. On February 5, 2009, in Colombo, he dismissed Gautam Gambhir to break Wasim Akram’s ODI record of 502 wickets. In his final Test match, on July 22, 2010, he recorded his 800th and final wicket, ending his career in Test cricket. Wisden’s Cricketers’ Almanack named Muralitharan the greatest Test match bowler in 2002. In 2017, he became the first Sri Lankan cricket player to be inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame. In 2017, he received the Ada Derana Sri Lankan of the Year honour.
3. Lasith Malinga (One Of The Best Sri Lankan Cricket Players)
Lasith Malinga was born on 28 August 1983. He is one of the best-limited overs bowlers of all time and is a former cricketer from Sri Lanka. Malinga is the only bowler to take four wickets in four balls twice in international cricket, and he captained the Sri Lankan team that won the 2014 T20 World Cup. Malinga is a right-arm fast bowler who is frequently used as a specialist death bowler. He is famous for his distinctive round-arm action, also known as a sling action. On September 14, 2021, Malinga took his retirement from all forms of cricket.
Malinga became the first bowler to take 100 wickets in Twenty20 cricket in September 2019 during a series against New Zealand. He recorded a hat-trick in the third over of his spell, becoming the first bowler to record two T20I hat-tricks and four wickets in four balls. Malinga also passed Rashid Khan to become the second bowler in history to do so in a single T20I match. He ended his career playing T20 franchise cricket in January 2021. Malinga took his retirement from all forms of cricket in September 2021.
4. Mahela Jayawardene (One Of The Famous Sri Lankan Cricketers)
Mahela Jayawardene was born on 27 May 1977. He is a former Sri Lankan cricketer who is the current consultant coach of the Sri Lanka National Cricket Team and the Head Coach of the IPL franchise Mumbai Indians. Further, he is the most successful captain for Sri Lanka along with Sanath Jayasuriya. He gained recognition for his captaincy skills and was rewarded for his instincts as a leader.
In August 1997, he made his Test debut. The following year, in January 1998, he made his One Day International (ODI) debut. In the first test of Sri Lanka’s home series against South Africa in 2006, Jayawardene and teammate Kumar Sangakkara scored 624 runs for the third wicket, setting a record for the highest partnership in First-class cricket. Over the course of a career that lasted about 18 years, he played for Sri Lanka in 652 games.
5. Sanath Jayasuriya (One Of The Greatest Sri Lankan Cricketers)
Sanath Jayasuriya was born on 30 June 1969. He is a former captain and cricketer for Sri Lanka. With his explosive batting in the middle of the 1990s, he is famous for the hard-hitting modern-day batting strategy. Jayasuriya is one of the best-attacking batsmen of all time. He is famous for his strong striking and match-winning all-around performances in all formats of the game. An all-rounder with more than two decades of cricket career, Jayasuriya played all positions. Jayasuriya set numerous world records during his playing career and is the only player in One Day International cricket history to have amassed over 10,000 runs and more than 300 wickets. He is also one of the best all-rounders in the history of limited-overs cricket.
He was the Most Valuable Player of the 1996 Cricket World Cup and Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack broke an age-old tradition by naming him one of the Five Cricketers of the Year 1997. From 1999 to 2003, Jayasuriya served as the Sri Lankan cricket team’s captain. He was an integral part of the squad that captured the 1996 Cricket World Cup, as well as the squads that moved to the finals of the 2007 and 2009 ICC World Twenty20 tournaments. Jayasuriya ended his career in limited overs and Test cricket in June 2011 and December 2007, respectively. He became chairman of the cricket selection committee of Sri Lanka Cricket on January 28, 2013.
6. Tillakaratne Dilshan (One Of The Famous Sri Lankan Cricketers)
Tillakaratne Dilshan was born on 14 October 1976. He was the former captain of the Sri Lankan national cricket team. He is the top-rated Sri Lankan player in ODI history when it comes to chasing an inning. Dilshan is an exceptional case of a cricket player who excels in all facets of the game and can bat, bowl, field, and keep wicket. He invented the scoop, also known as the Dilscoop, a shot that hits the ball over the keeper. Dilshan is an aggressive right-hand batsman. He can bowl off-breaks well and is a capable opening batsman as well. He typically fielded at the point region and was active on the field.
During the 1999 tour of Zimbabwe by the Sri Lankan cricket team, Dilshan made his Test and ODI debuts. He is the first cricketer in the sport’s history to score hundreds in every format while serving as captain. Dilshan’s 96 runs off 57 balls against the West Indies in the semi-final of the 2009 ICC World Twenty20 in England earned him the Twenty20 Performance of the Year honour at the 2009 ICC Awards.
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7. Aravinda de Silva (One Of The Best Sri Lankan Cricketers)
Aravinda de Silva was born on 17 October 1965. He was a former captain and player for Sri Lanka and also participated in English county cricket. De Silva assisted Sri Lanka in winning the 1996 Cricket World Cup and transformed the nation from an underdog to its present form. Since his retirement in 2003, he has held a number of positions within Sri Lanka Cricket. Further, he is the only player to make a hundred and take three or more wickets in a World cup final. He is the first player to score two unbeaten hundreds in a Test, where he scored 138 and 103 against Pakistan in 1997.
He started playing in the Test match in 1984 at Lord’s against England. De Silva played a key role in Sri Lanka’s victory in the 1996 Cricket World Cup where his unbeaten century and three wickets earned him the Man of the Match award in the final against Australia. De Silva was one of the five Sri Lankan cricketers named to the prestigious list of Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 1996. The Wisden list of top 100 batting innings contains six entries for him, only one less than the West Indies batsman Viv Richards.
8. Angelo Mathews
Angelo Mathews was born on 2 June 1987. He is a former captain in all formats of cricket and a professional from Sri Lanka. Despite having played for Sri Lanka in all three formats, Mathews currently represents his country in Test cricket. In addition, he was an important part of the team that won the 2014 ICC World Twenty20 and was also on the squads that competed in the finals of 2009, 2011, and 2012 ICC World Twenty20. The highest ninth-wicket partnership in ODI cricket is held by Mathews and Lasith Malinga, a rare bowler who is capable of throwing swinging match-winning spells. Mathews participated in his 100th Test match for Sri Lanka in July 2022.
9. Arjuna Ranatunga (One Of Old Sri Lankan Cricket Players)
Arjuna Ranatunga was born on 1 December 1963. He played cricket for Sri Lanka in the past and led his country to victory in the 1996 Cricket World Cup. He turned the Sri Lankan cricket team from an underdog to a dominant force in sports. After retiring, he held various positions with Sri Lanka Cricket. He began his political career in 2005 by joining his father’s political party.
10. Chaminda Vaas (One Of The Famous Sri Lankan Cricketers)
Chaminda Vaas was born on 27 January 1974. He is a former Sri Lankan cricket player who played in all formats of the game and a former ODI captain. Due to his precise line and length selection as well as his ability to swing the ball, he is the best fast bowler Sri Lanka has ever produced. Vaas is the only bowler to take an 8-wicket haul in ODIs and currently owns the record for the best bowling figures in ODI history. Vaas frequently assisted Muttiah Muralitharan, Sri Lanka’s top wicket-taker and off-spinner, during his tenure. He received recognition on a global scale in 2004 when he was chosen for the World Test and One-Day XI at the first ICC Awards.
At the 2005 awards, he was once more chosen for the World Test XI. He set numerous records for total wickets and bowling figures over the course of a fifteen-year cricket career. Only 3 bowlers have taken more ODI wickets than Vaas as of 11 February 2022.
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