With the intention of winning international honors and for various other reasons, a few players of Sri Lankan heritage have played Cricket for different countries over the course of the past few years. A few of them have achieved success but some haven’t been as fortunate. Here are some of them.
Free hit contributor – Adeeb Saleemdeen
01. Dav Whatmore
One of the finest coaches that Sri Lanka has ever had, Dav Whatmore, made his Test debut for Australia in 1979 against Pakistan. As a native of Sri Lanka Whatmore was educated at Royal College Colombo before his family decided to migrate to Australia in 1962. Whatmore made his first-class debut in 1975 and had a very successful stint at Victoria as he accumulated over 6000 runs over the years. Whatmore earned a much-deserved Test call-up for the series against Pakistan but unfortunately, couldn’t perform to potential. Whatmore featured in 7 Tests for Australia, going past the half-century mark on two occasions. The limited overs career of this right-hander only lasted a solitary ODI against the Windies. Despite the disappointing run as a player in the international circuit, Whatmore has been magnificent as a coach.
After his retirement as a professional cricketer in 1989, he took on the responsibility of coaching Sri Lanka and masterminded Sri Lanka’s 1st World Cup triumph in 1996. In 2003 Whatmore coached the Bangladeshis who were going through a lean phase, winless for four years, but Whatmore guided them through to their first Test victory in 2005. Victories over India, Australia, and South Africa in limited overs games are a few notable achievements they accomplished during his tenure. After completing a very fine coaching spell at Bangladesh, Whatmore handed over his resignation after the 2007 World Cup and subsequently, he was enlisted as the head coach of Pakistan and Zimbabwe as well.
Whatmore is currently the coach of the Kerala cricket team in India.
02. Ashton Agar
The 24-year-old was born in Australia to Sri Lankan born Sonia Hewawissa and Australian born John Agar. Sonia the mother of Agar migrated to Australia at the age of 12. His grandfather, Nala Hewawissa was a past cricketer at Dharmaraja College Kandy.
After a surprise inclusion to the Test squad in the 2013 Ashes series, Agar made a statement early on by scoring a crafty 98, coming in at number 11. The Australians were reeling at 117 for nine but Agar joined Philip Hughes and went on to put on an exceptional partnership to take the Australian lead over the 50 run mark. A few hopes were raised that Agar will be a very good spin bowling option to invest in for the future but unfortunately, Agar was axed from the Test side following a few below-par performances. The inclusion of the experienced Nathan Lyon in the Test side and the commendable record of the youngster Adam Zampa in the limited overs format has left Agar in an arduous position to regain his spot. He was considered back for the Indian tour in 2017 but didn’t get any game time. Ashton Agar has appeared in 9 Tests and 11 limited overs matches throughout his career.
03. Dimitri Mascarenhas
Yuvraj Singh is perhaps the first name which comes to mind when we think about players who have hit six sixes in an over, but Dimitri Mascarenhas too had a chance to achieve that rare feat but disappointingly, he missed out by a whisker as he smashed five sixes off Yuvraj Singh in one over. Born in England, Dimitri, made his ODI debut for his homeland in 2007 against the Windies. Dimitri’s parents are Sri Lankan natives but migrated to England before he was born. The Mascarenhas family later migrated to Australia but after a few years, Dimitri moved back to England to pursue a professional career as a cricketer.
After few outstanding county cricket seasons, he was brought into the England side for the series against the Windies. A few blistering knocks followed by some very good spells with the ball by Dimitri throughout the series against the Indians helped England clinch the 7 match ODI series 4-3. He was back in the mix for the T20Is as he was picked for the T20I World Cup in 2007. Disappointingly, he suffered from various injuries at different points in his career.
Since his retirement from professional cricket, he has completed the ECB level-three coaching qualifications and had a few coaching spells at Hampshire, Otago Volts, and Melbourne Renegades. In 2015 he worked as the full-time bowling coach of New Zealand and he’s currently the assistant coach of Essex. Mascarenhas represented England in 20 ODIs and 14 T20Is.
04. Ruvindu Gunasekara
As one of the most consistent batsman in the T20 format, Ruvindu Gunasekara outshone many domestic T20I players in the SLC T20 championship 2018 as the highest run-getter. Ruvindu is a Sri Lankan born cricketer who studied at Prince of Wales College and St. Peter’s College before migrating to Canada in 2005 as a 9-year-old with the expectation of finishing off his studies in Canada. He pursued a degree in management at the University of Toronto and was a part of the Canada U19 setup as well.
He was fortunate enough to break into the Canadian national side at the age of 16 as he made his ODI debut in 2008 against Bermuda. Ruvindu toured to Sri Lanka back in 2011 with the Canadian outfit who took part in the 2011 World Cup.
After concluding the domestic T20 series on a high note, he will be hoping to develop his explosive batting skills and earn a position in the Sri Lankan team.
05. Manjula Guruge
The left arm paceman Manjula Guruge has been impressive for UAE since his ODI debut in 2014 against Scotland. The Sri Lankan born Manjula had a long wait of eight years to earn a slot in the UAE national circuit due to residency rules. As a player who had played his junior level cricket in Ambalangoda, Guruge made his first-class debut in 2000 for Singha SC and played in Sri Lanka for a couple of years before moving to Abu Dhabi.
Manjula was fortunate enough to feature in two World Cups in 2014 and 2015 for the Arabians and had decent outings in both instances. Manjula has played 12 limited overs internationals and has 17 scalps to his name.
06. Andri Berenger
Andri Berenger is the first Sri Lankan to represent two different nations in World Cups as he was a part of the Sri Lanka U19 squad at the 2010 Youth World Cup and was also named in the UAE squad for the 2015 World Cup. Berenger started his Cricketing career as a U15 player of UAE but enrolled at St. Peter’s College Colombo on a sporting scholarship in 2004. The wicket-keeper batsman gained a slot in the U19 outfit of Sri Lanka following few good performances at the school level. Berenger’s first first-class stint at the Sri Lanka Ports Authority Cricket Club was in 2008 while he played under 23s cricket for SSC. As Berenger faced long odds of earning a spot in the Sri Lankan side, he migrated to UAE expecting international honors.
After his return to the UAE, the 26-year-old Berenger, has been an exceptional opening batsman since his ODI debut in 2014 against Afghanistan.