Cricket is the most popular sport in Sri Lanka. After the British colonized Sri Lanka in the 1800s, cricket had already started to be played from the 1830s in Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan cricket team has over the 20th century evolved into a fierce and remarkable cricket team in international cricket. Here are the ten greatest Sri Lankan Cricketers.
1. Angelo Mathews
He was born on 2nd June 1987. Angelo Mathews is a right handed batsman and a right handed medium paced bowler. Mathews is still currently playing test cricket for Sri Lanka. Moreover, he has almost 7000 runs in test cricket and almost 6000 runs in international cricket. He had an impressive start in his cricket career, being the youngest test captain at 25 years old. Angelo is the fifth Sri Lankan cricketer to reach 6000 Test runs.
2. Chaminda Vaas
Born on 27th June 1974, Chaminda Vaas is considered as one of the greatest fast-medium paced bowlers in the world, due to his skill in bowling. He holds the record for the best bowling figures in ODI cricket. Vaas is also the only bowler to take a 8 wicket haul in ODIs. Vaas has over 23000 balls in test cricket with 355 wickets and over 15000 bowls in international cricket with over 400 wickets. He is the youngest bowler to take 300 wickets in ODI cricket.
3. Marvan Atapattu
Atapattu is one of the most underrated Sri Lankan batters. He also captained the Lankan team for a couple of years. Atapattu was a great tactician. He has six double centuries to his name in test cricket. The Lankan great has scored 5000+runs in both red and white ball format.
4. Arjuna Ranatunga
He was born on 1st December, 1963. Ranatunga is considered as one of those Sri Lankan cricketers who helped elevate Sri Lanka’s status from underdog to a leading force in cricket. Having over 5000 runs in test cricket and over 7000 runs in international cricket, he also has the record for scoring the most runs by any batsman in ODI cricket.
5. Lasith Malinga
He was born on 28th August, 1983. Malinga is one of the most popular bowlers in cricket history, as well as being considered the greatest Sri Lankan bowler. He is the only cricketer to take 4 wickets in 4 balls twice in international cricket. Malinga is a right arm fast bowler. He has over 5000 bowls in test cricket with 101 wickets, and in his international cricket career he has almost 11000 bowls and taken 338 wickets.
6. Mahela Jayawardene
Born on 27th May 1977, Mahela is the most successful captain for the Sri Lankan cricket team. He had a long and illustrious cricketing career. These days he is coaching Mumbai Indians. He has scored ten thousand runs in both one day internationals and test cricket.
7. Aravinda De Silva
Born on 17th October 1965, he is a very famous cricketer who has greatly helped Sri Lanka in winning the 1996 Cricket World Cup. He has over 6000 runs in test cricket and over 9000 runs in international cricket. He was Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1996.
8. Kumar Sangakkara
Born on 27th October 1977, Sangakkara is the greatest wicket-keeper-batsman In cricket history. He was officially rated as the Top Three current batsman in the world. Kumar has scored 28016 runs in international cricket across his 15 year old career, as well as being the second highest run scorer at the time of his retirement. He was the ICC Cricketer of the Year in 2012 as well as the ICC Leading Cricketer in the same year and in 2015.
9. Muttiah Muralitharan
Born on 17th April 1972, Muttiah is widely regarded as one of the most successful cricketers and bowlers ever. He is the only bowler to take 800 test wickets which is an insanely high number, and more than 530 international wickets. In current day, he has taken more wickets in international cricket than any other bowler in the world. Murali has over 44000 balls in test, and over 18000 balls in international cricket. He is the greatest test match bowler of all time in terms of wickets.
10. Sanath Jayasuriya
Born on 30th June 1969, he was one of the most aggressive batsman of his generation in the mid 1990s. He was a left handed batsman with almost 7000 runs in test cricket as well as 13000 runs in international cricket. Ssanath is the only player to score over 1000 runs and capture more than 300 wickets in international cricket. He was Man of the Series of the 1996 World Cup. Affectionately, he is also known as “Master Blaster”, being the only third batsman in Sri Lanka with this nickname.