Sri Lanka doesn’t boast of a big population, yet it has produced scores of great cricketers. Though Sri Lanka is very well acquainted about its cricketing heroes, not many of us know about various cricketers of Sri Lankan origin.
Even though Sri Lankans have been part of Associate and Affiliate nations such as Canada and the UAE, our primary focus is on those who represented the test playing nations.
Here is a slideshow of five cricketers who were of Sri Lankan origin but played cricket for a different country.
1. Dav Whatmore
The world cup winning coach for Sri Lanka in 1996, Whatmore, was a member of the Australian side from 1979-1980. He played seven tests and a solitary ODI for Australia. But what he is known for is not for his skills as a cricketer but for his prowess as a coach. He coached Sri Lanka when Sri Lanka won the world cup in 1996 and Bangladesh when they rose as a reckonable force in world cricket.
What many don’t know is the fact that Whatmore was born in Sri Lanka and migrated to Australia in 1962. Whatmore is an alumnus of Royal College, Colombo and his family decided to leave the island after the ‘Sinhala-only’ Act came into effect.
2. Michael Bevan
The greatest finisher ODI cricket has ever seen, Michael Bevan, is of Sri Lankan origin. In his 232 ODI matches for Australia, Bevan scored 6,912 runs at an average of 53.58, often finishing the innings off for his team. Despite having a successful ODI career, Bevan’s test career was a struggle and the general perception is that he was susceptible to short-pitch bowling.
*It is widely believed that Bevan is of Sri Lankan origin. However, an official confirmation is still awaited.
3. Dimitri Mascarenhas
The medium-fast bowling all-rounder Dimitri Mascarenhas was an ODI player for England, who featured in 20 ODI matches. Remembered for hitting Yuvraj Singh for 5 sixes in an over in 2007, the attacking batsman is currently the bowling coach of New Zealand.
Born to Malik Mascarenhas and Pauline, both of whom belong to the Bharatha community of Sri Lanka, Mascarenhas grew up in Perth, Australia. He migrated to England in 1996 to have a professional career as a cricketer.
4. Ashton Agar
The slow-left arm bowling all-rounder, Ashton Agar, missed the rare feat of a number 11 scoring a century on debut by the skin of his teeth when he was dismissed on 98. Picked up for his spin bowling skills, Agar played two tests for Australia in 2013 Ashes series in England. After a poor show, he was dropped from his team.
Ashton Agar’s mother is a Sri Lankan, and when he was picked for the national side, she took her son to a Buddhist temple in Melbourne and gave him a pirith thread which was obtained from Vijitha thero.
5. Rajendra Chandrika
The right-handed opening batsman of the West Indies team, Chandrika, is of Sri Lankan origin. Having made his debut just last year against Australia, Chandrika averages a below-par 14.50 in 3 Test matches.