Sri Lanka Cricket Team just finished the T20 World Cup 2022 held in Australia. Having won the Asia Cup, defeating Pakistan and the mighty Indian team, Sri Lankan Cricket Fans had some hope for the T20 World Cup. Sri Lankan fans got disappointed at the very beginning of the tournament when Sri Lanka lost their first match to Namibia. Then Sri Lanka could win some matches and be able to select for the supper eight rounds. Sri Lanka had few injuries, especially in the fast-balling department. Other than some patchy display of good performance with both bat and balls no player was able to shine throughout the series. One notable poor performer was our fast-balling all-rounder Chamika Karunarathna.
Chamika Karunarathna secured a place in the T20 team due to his initial performance and his commitment to the sport. He showed the characteristics of a great fighter. The T20 world cup was held in Australia where fast ballers have an advantage with the bouncy wickets. So Chamika Karunarathna’s selection was justifiable. However, he has failed to deliver as expected in the middle.
Chamika Karunarathna’s fan base is also divided. He is an action figure not only on the ground but also on social media. He has definitely won the hearts of many Sri Lankan girls. However, some of the fans do not like his dramatic behavior on the ground, especially with his poor performance with both bat and ball.
Now cricket fans talked about a possible replacement for Chamika Karunarathna.
Who can replace Chamika Karunarathna?
Chamika was the best solution at the time of selection for the T20 World Cup 2022. However, it is the right time now to find out a better cricketer for this position. What are our options?
Senior cricketer and former captain Angelo Mathews has expressed his availability for selections in the upcoming tournament with Afganistan Cricket Team. Angelo is well known for his skills with both bat and ball. He has performed well and lead the team to win many matches in difficult situations. The only concern was his fitness due to his frequent injuries.
Angelo Mathews is a useful baller and a fighting and hard hitting batsman. We believe if he is fully fit he is still the best to occupy this position as batting and fast balling allrounder.
Lahiru Madushanka is one other unfortunate player who got an injury when he was selected for the limited over format as a fast balling allrounder. Lahiru is well capable of hitting sixes which is a much needed skill in a batsmen who have a finisher role.
Lahiru Madushanka his first appearance in international cricket against South Africa in February 2017 in an ODI series. He has already represented Sri Lanka in four ODIs and three T20 Internationals. However, he has failed to shine so far. But his ability with the ball as a right-arm seamer and powerful lower-order batsman has been evident in the first-class matches.
Janith Liyanage has already appeared in three T20 Internationals. This right batting allrounder shined in the Lanka Premier League and it earned him a position in the T20 Internationals. He is a right arm medium fast baller who has taken 45 wickets in the first class matches.
Thisara Perera was the one who owned the position of Fast balling allrounder place for long time. He was an impactful player and has won many matches including the T20 world cup title for the Sri Lankan Cricket Team. Thisara has played 166 One Day Internationals and 84 T20 Internationals. He is one of the most sought Sri Lankan player in the T20 leagues all around the world.
Thisara is now thirty three years old (2022) and his come back with the announcement of his retirement from International Cricket is far fromreality. However, give the poor performance of the replacements Thisara would be able to make a come back.
If there was anybody who was very closer to get selection for the T20 International World Cup 2022 in place of Chamika, it would have been Dhananjaya Lakshan. Dhananjaya has shown his potential both with bat and ball in the Lanka Premier League and in other domestic tournaments.
It is more likely that the selectors would consider Dhananjaya in place of Chamika Karunarathna in the upcoming tournament against Afganistan.
We looked into the issue of not having a good consistent performer as the batting all rounder and discussed about few possible options to replace Chamika Karunarathna. We would like to hear your opinion on this regard since we may have missed some players for the list.