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Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Another gem for Cricket's future
Bhanuka Rajapaksa, awarded the most emerging young player at CEAT awards few weeks back. Still 20 years old and has a great history in the cricketing field. But how many of Sri Lankans who love cricket know about this young spontaneous player?
Still 20 years old and has a great history in the cricketing field. But how many of Sri Lankans who love cricket know about this young spontaneous player? How many of us have at least bothered to go and check the background of him? More importantly how many of Sri Lankans actually know that this guy can be the next Mahela, Aravinda for Sri Lanka. He is a player who will bring pride to his alma mater Royal College Colombo without any doubt in the coming years through international cricket. The small breafing here is to introduce who Banuka is and what Banuka is capable of through what he has done till now in the arena.
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Bhanuka Rajapaksa started turning heads in to his direction with a blistering 154 off 111 balls representing Sri Lanka u-19 team against Australia u-19 in Australia in 2009. Everyone who follows Sri Lankan cricket by heart sensed that next big star was born. They murmured that we have found next Sanath Jayasuriya.
Sri Lanka U-19 went to New Zealand for the u-19 world cup in 2010 having Bhanuka as the top gun, and he didn’t disappoint his fans. He ended the tournament as the highest run getter for the country with 253 runs. In this tournament he brushed off any doubts people had regarding him as a dasher, he showed great temperament and excellent stroke play.
Bhanuka had a superb career as a schoolboy at Royal college, and he continued that in the international U-19 level, one can only hope that he would become what people want him to be; a legend.
In 2011, Bhanuka became only the third individual to be adjudged as the 'Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year' twice in the country's premier school sector awarding ceremony 'Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of the year'. He plays his domestic cricket for Sinhalese Sports Club and as well wishers to the Sri Lankan Cricket we want him to be the match winner that he promises to be.
Something interesting we found while going through some figures and facts of Bhanuka in comparison with Dinesh Chandimal and Lahiru Thirimanne who are two young players in the national site at their U-19 international level was that Bhanuka has a very high average and a strike rate. Chandimal in U19 International 50 overs has an Average of 26.04 with a Strike Rate of 74 and Lahiru has an Average of 35.86 with a Strike Rate of 67. However, the highlighting factor is Bhanuka has an Average of 35.86 and a huge Strike Rate of 99.8 which again proves he is the perfect material for an attacker. And at the moment, entire country is thinking of Chandimal and Thirimanna and how great these two batsmen can be in future. But looking at the above records it shows how good Bhanuka can be if he does this way of performance in the national side.
" In U19 International 50 overs : Dinesh Chandimal : Ave 26.04 || SR 74 , Bhanuka Rajapakse : Ave 35.86 || SR 99.8, Lahiru Thirimanne : Ave 25.28 || SR 67 "
Also, during the U19 WC 2010, the popular Cricket commentator Sanjay Manjrekar told in his commentary that Bhanuka reminds him of young Sachin Tendulkar. This is not an easy complement to get from him and especially from an Indian where the country prays Sachin as a god.
" He (Bhanuka) reminds me Sachin Tendulkar in his age. Bats, bowls and always in the game. “ (01-24-2010)
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Finally, the brief chat we had with Bhanuka showed us his eager and the hope filled eyes that are waiting to play for the National side to make the country proud. An exclusive interview with Bhanuka will be carried out in few days by Cricturf and we hope our fans will wait for it