Mohamed Isam with Thilan Samaraweera, in ESPNcricinfo and its CRICKET MONTHLY, August 2020, where the title is “My Best XI: The Lords of Sri Lanka’s Golden Age”
Thilan SamarawThe lords of Sri Lanka’s golden age”eera, who played 81 Tests with 12 centuries and two double-hundreds, was one of Sri Lanka’s middle-order mainstays. In a career spanning 12 years, he played alongside two generations of his country’s finest cricketers in five-day cricket – from among whom he picks an all-time XI.
Jayawardene, Sangakarra, Atapattu: that’s just short of 30,000 Test runs right there
The time has come to grasp the nettle, to remove the mental and, to reject the frown, the shrug, the pursed lips and the quizzical look. Muttiah Muralitharan was, without qualification, the finest cricketer on the planet last year and, by implication, is one of the best cricketers that have ever played the game.
Champika Fernando, in Sunday Times, 5 April 2020, with this title ‘Continuity’ – De Mel’s mantra
Chief cricket selector Ashantha De Mel often speaks of ‘continuity’ to give players a fair run in the team. The strategy seems to be bearing fruit. Sri Lanka’s 3-0 triumph against West Indies in the ODIs came against the backdrop of resolute selection, something that will be adhered to again as the team prepares for the World T20 qualifiers in Australia later this year.
Rex Clementine, in Sunday Island, 2 February 2020, where the title is “Mendis on the verge of crucial milestone”
Young Kusal Mendis, who turned 25 today (Sunday) is on the brink of a crucial milestone. He is just five runs short to complete 3000 Test runs, a feat achieved by only 13 other Sri Lankans. He will also become the second youngest Sri Lankan to reach the milestone when England visit the island later next month. Mahela Jayawardene, who achieved the landmark at the age of 24 is the youngest and quickest Sri Lankan to get there (65 innings). If Kusal keeps his appetite for big runs like Mahela, there is little doubt that he would join the 10,000 club of which Mahela and Kumar Sangakkara are members.
Andrew Fidel Fernando, in ESPNcricinfo, August 2019 where the title runs “Sri Lanka are winning, but it’s in spite of the system”
ri Lanka have won another Test, their third in a row chasing a tough score. Their captain dug in for a tenacious fourth-innings hundred. The victory has yielded 60 Test Championship points – an excellent start to their campaign in that competition. Away from Tests, they have comfortably won their most-recent ODI series, against Bangladesh, and performed better than expected at the World Cup, finishing sixth. With young players suddenly coming through, and a capable captain at the helm, it is tempting to believe Sri Lanka have begun to recover following a several-year lull.
Hilal Suhaib, in islandcricket, !8 July 2019, with this title Who stands in the way of improving Sri Lanka’s first-class cricket structure?”
The standard of Sri Lanka’s first-class tournament today is so inferior that, when Sri Lankan cricketers graduate to play for the national side and are scrutinised at the Test level, they make greenhorn mistakes that should have been ironed out at club or school level. The top Test teams tend to debut players who don’t resemble novices and are prepared for the big league, while Sri Lankan newcomers look out of their depth and in over their heads, even 30 innings into their careers some.
Sidharth Monga, in ESPNcricinfo, 16 June 2019, where the title reads “Dysfunction, hope, more dysfunction; Sri Lanka’s World Cup rolls on”
The wife of Sri Lanka’s once-captain has accused – on Facebook – one of their players of being a political appointment made by the sports minister of the country. That captain – one of the seven ODI captains tried by Sri Lanka since the last World Cup – is not the captain anymore. He has been accused of picking and choosing games, and has been forced to switch between IPL and domestic cricket in Sri Lanka, and is eventually here at the World Cup. Barely.
Nagraj Gollapudi, in ESPNcricinfo, 25 June 2009, where the title is “”<Dilshan’s Ascent
Sir Garfield Sobers is not a person to be easily overlooked. Yet, when the greatest allrounder called on the Sri Lankans, as they trained before the second semi-final of the World Twenty20 at the Oval, Tillakaratne Dilshan had no idea who he was exchanging pleasantries with. “I just said hello,” Dilshan says with an embarrassed smile. Sanath Jayasuriya, standing next to Dilshan, realised his younger team-mate didn’t know who the visitor was. “He was shocked,” Dilshan chuckles.
“I never seriously followed cricket when I was young,” he says. The first live cricket match he watched was on TV – the last 10 overs of Sri Lanka’s momentuous 1996 World Cup triumph over Australia. Dilshan was at a family wedding when people in one corner perked up as they watched Aravinda de Silva tear the Aussies to shreds. Something stirred inside Dilshan.
Anantha Narayanan, in ESPNcricinfo, 20 February 2019, with this title “Why Kusal Perera’s 153* is the best Test innings ever”
Kusal Perera‘s once-in-a-lifetime 153 not-out, which orchestrated an almost single-handed win over a South Africa much stronger than Perera’s Sri Lanka, has become the best innings in 142 years of Test cricket, moving to the top spot in myGolden Willow 25 (GW 25) table of top batting performances.
Perera’s innings secured 897.2 rating points, which is about 30 points more than the previous top innings, Graham Gooch’s classic 154 at Headingley in 1991 against the mighty West Indies. Perera’s innings ticks all the boxes and sits comfortably in top place. The only other innings that has come into the top 25 since this list was originally published in August last year is Cheteshwar Pujara’s 123 in Adelaide.