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  • Tue. Jun 25th, 2024

Top 10 Sir Lankan Cricketers of All Time 2024

Top 10 Sir Lankan Cricketers of All Time 2023

Sri Lanka, known for its rich cricketing history, has produced several outstanding players who have left an indelible mark on the sport. From the golden era of Sri Lankan cricket in the 1990s to the present day, these talented individuals have achieved remarkable international success and become revered figures within their nation.

In this article, we will explore and celebrate the top 10 Sri Lankan cricketers of all time – those exceptional athletes whose skills, dedication, and contributions have cemented their place in cricketing folklore and etched their names into our collective memory. 1. Muttiah Muralitharan: Widely regarded as one of the greatest spin bowlers in cricket history, Muttiah Muralitharan holds numerous records, including the most wickets taken in both Test and One Day Internationals. His unorthodox bowling action, exceptional control, and variation made him a nightmare for batters worldwide.

1. Sanath Jayasuriya

Sanath Jayasuriya, a legendary Sri Lankan cricketer, is often regarded as one of the greatest all-rounders in the game’s history. Born on June 30, 1969, in Matara, Sri Lanka, Jayasuriya made his international debut in 1989 and had a remarkable career spanning over two decades. Known for his explosive batting style and aggressive approach, he revolutionized the role of an opening batsman in limited-overs cricket.

Jayasuriya’s impact on Sri Lankan cricket cannot be overstated. He played a crucial role in leading Sri Lanka to victory in the 1996 Cricket World Cup, where he scored 221 runs and took six wickets throughout the tournament. His blistering knocks at the top of the order set a new standard for opening batters worldwide. With over 13,000 runs and nearly 350 wickets across formats, Jayasuriya’s versatility made him an invaluable asset for his team.

Off the field as well, Jayasuriya left a lasting legacy through his contributions to coaching and cricket administration after retiring from professional cricket in 2011. He served as Chairman of Selectors for Sri Lanka Cricket and was instrumental in nurturing young talent within the country. His influence on future generations of cricketers continues to inspire aspiring players today.

2. Kumar Sangakkara

Kumar Sangakkara, regarded as one of the most incredible batters in Sri Lankan cricket history, is a name that resonates with fans worldwide. With his stylish left-handed batting technique and unwavering determination, Sangakkara has left an indelible mark on the game. His illustrious career spanned over 15 years, during which he achieved numerous accolades and broke several records.

Sangakkara’s consistent performances earned him a place among the elite cricketers to score more than 10,000 runs in both Test and One-Day Internationals. He holds the record for the highest number of dismissals by a wicket-keeper in ODIs and is known for his exceptional glovework behind the stumps. Sangakkara was also appointed national team captain from 2009 to 2011, leading them to their first-ever Test series victory against England in 2014.

Off the field, Sangakkara’s articulate speeches and thoughtful insights have made him a respected figure in cricket administration. After retiring from international cricket in 2015, he served as president of MCC (Marylebone Cricket Club) – becoming the first non-British person to hold this position. Known for his sportsmanship and commitment to social causes such as education and healthcare, Kumar Sangakkara remains an iconic figure within Sri Lanka and globally for his contributions to cricket both on and off the field.

3. Lasith Malinga

Lasith Malinga, a legendary Sri Lankan cricketer, has left an indelible mark on the world of cricket with his unorthodox bowling style and ability to take wickets consistently. Known for his unique slinging action and deadly yorkers, Malinga has been a nightmare for batters worldwide. His ability to swing the ball at high speeds and deliver pinpoint, accurate yorkers has made him one of the most feared bowlers in limited-overs cricket.

Malinga’s impressive career statistics speak volumes about his impact on the game. He is undoubtedly one of Sri Lanka’s greatest fast bowlers, with over 300 international wickets in both test matches and one-day internationals (ODIs). He is also known for his exceptional performances in ICC World Cups, where he holds the record for taking four consecutive wickets with four straight balls against South Africa in 2007.

In addition to his lethal bowling skills, Malinga has also contributed as a valuable lower-order batsman and a charismatic leader. He led Sri Lanka to victory in the 2014 ICC World T20, showcasing his cricketing prowess and leadership abilities. Lasith Malinga’s impact on Sri Lankan cricket cannot be overstated, as he has etched himself into history as one of their all-time greats.

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4. Muttiah Muralitharan

 Muttiah Muralitharan is regarded as one of the greatest spin bowlers in cricket history. Born on April 17, 1972, in Kandy, Sri Lanka, Muralitharan had a remarkable career that spanned over 18 years. Known for his unique bowling style and unorthodox techniques, he was a nightmare for batters worldwide.

With an astonishing record of 800 Test wickets, Muralitharan holds the title of the highest wicket-taker in Test cricket. His ability to extract sharp turns and bounce from even the most placid pitches made him a formidable opponent for any batting lineup. He was particularly lethal against left-handed batters, as his doosra – a delivery that spins away from them – often left them clueless.

Despite controversies regarding his bowling action during his career, Muralitharan remained unfazed and continued dominating the field. Apart from his exceptional performances in Test cricket, he also played a crucial role in Sri Lanka’s success at international tournaments like the ICC World Cup and ICC Champions Trophy.

Even after retiring from professional cricket in 2011, Muttiah Muralitharan’s legacy as one of Sri Lanka’s greatest cricketers lives on. His records speak for themselves, with an astonishing 800 Test wickets to his name, a feat that still stands unmatched. Muralitharan’s ability to spin the ball sharply and deceive batters was unparalleled. His unorthodox bowling action, characterized by a unique wrist position and an effortless flick of the fingers, added to his mystique as a bowler.

5. Tillakaratne Dilshan 

Tillakaratne Dilshan is one of the most iconic cricketers from Sri Lanka. Known for his aggressive batting style and innovative shot-making, Dilshan was a force to be reckoned with on the cricket field. He made his mark as an opening batsman and played a pivotal role in Sri Lanka’s success during his career.

Dilshan’s ability to adapt to different game formats was commendable. He was equally proficient in Test cricket, One Day Internationals (ODIs), and Twenty20s. His explosive batting at the top of the order often set the tone for Sri Lanka’s innings. Dilshan will always be remembered for popularizing the Dilscoop, a shot where he would get down on one knee and scoop balls from outside off-stump over his shoulder, often resulting in boundaries.

In addition to his batting prowess, Dilshan was a handy off-spinner and an exceptional fielder. He contributed crucial breakthroughs with his bowling and took

some stunning catches during matches. Overall, Tillakaratne Dilshan’s impact on Sri Lankan cricket cannot be overstated, making him a true legend of the sport in his country.

6. Mahela Jayawardene

Mahela Jayawardena is undoubtedly one of the greatest cricketers to have emerged from Sri Lanka. His exceptional skills and composure on the field have left an indelible mark on the sport. Jayawardena’s illustrious career spanned over 17 years, during which he achieved numerous accolades.

Known for his elegant batting style and impeccable timing, Jayawardena was a force to be reckoned with in both Test and One-Day International (ODI) cricket. He amassed over 11,800 Test runs at an impressive average of 49.84, including 34 centuries and 50 half-centuries. In ODIs, he scored over 12,500 runs at an average of 33.37, including 19 centuries and 77 fifties.

His ability to perform under pressure set Jayawardena apart from other players. He had a knack for delivering match-winning innings when it mattered most, earning him the reputation of being a big-game player. His partnership with Kumar Sangakkara remains one of the most prolific in cricket history; together, they formed a formidable duo that struck fear into the hearts of opposing bowlers.

Jayawardena’s leadership qualities were also highly regarded as he captained Sri Lanka to great success during his tenure as skipper. Under his guidance, Sri Lanka reached two consecutive World Cup finals in 2007 and 2011, respectively.

7. Nuwan Kulasekara

Nuwan Kulasekara is a name that cannot be omitted when discussing the top Sri Lankan cricketers of all time. Known for his impeccable swing bowling, Kulasekara significantly impacted the Sri Lankan cricket team during his career. His ability to swing the ball both ways at pace made him a nightmare for batters worldwide.

One of his most memorable performances came in the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup final against India. In this match, Kulasekara was crucial in restricting India’s batting lineup by taking two wickets and conceding just 29 runs in his ten overs. Although Sri Lanka eventually lost the match, Kulasekara’s performance was lauded by cricket enthusiasts across the globe.

Throughout his career, Nuwan Kulasekara showcased exceptional consistency and reliability with both bat and ball. He often played valuable innings and proved himself a reliable lower-order batsman.

Additionally, he was known for his accurate line and length as a bowler, consistently troubling opposing batters with his deceptive swing. Overall, Nuwan Kulasekara undoubtedly deserves recognition as one of Sri Lanka’s greatest cricketers of all time due to his immense contributions to their success over the years.

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8. Marvan Atapattu

Marvan Atapattu is renowned as one of the greatest cricketers to have emerged from Sri Lanka. He had a prolific career as a stylish right-handed batsman and represented his country for over 15 years. Atapattu made his mark in international cricket with his remarkable technique, solid defense, and ability to score big runs consistently.

Throughout his career, Atapattu played in 90 Test matches and scored over 5,500 runs at an average of over 39. He also captained the Sri Lankan team during a significant part of his tenure and led them to notable victories against top cricketing nations. One of his most memorable performances came in 2002 when he scored back-to-back double-centuries against Zimbabwe, showcasing his immense batting prowess.

Atapattu’s contributions were not limited to Test cricket alone. In One Day Internationals (ODIs), he accumulated over 8,500 runs in 268 matches at an average above 37. His elegant strokeplay and ability to anchor innings earned him admiration from fans worldwide.

Marvan Atapattu remains an iconic figure in Sri Lankan cricket history for his remarkable achievements on the field and continues to inspire aspiring cricketers even after retirement. In addition to his impressive Test and ODI records, Atapattu had a successful career in Twenty20 cricket. He represented several domestic teams and played in various T20 leagues worldwide. His ability to adapt to different game formats showcased his versatility as a cricketer.

Off the field, Atapattu was known for his calm and composed demeanor, earning him respect from teammates and opponents.

9. Dinesh Chandimal

Dinesh Chandimal, a prominent Sri Lankan cricketer, has carved a niche in the international cricketing arena. Known for his stylish batting technique and exceptional leadership skills, Chandimal is regarded as one of the top cricketers of all time from Sri Lanka. He has left an indelible mark on the game with an impressive career spanning over a decade.

Chandimal’s consistent performances have earned him numerous accolades and recognition. His ability to adapt to different game formats is commendable, making him a valuable asset to the team. His calm demeanor under pressure has often helped guide Sri Lanka to victory.

Furthermore, Chandimal’s captaincy stint showcased his excellent leadership qualities. He led by example and inspired his teammates with his positive attitude and determination. Under his captaincy, Sri Lanka achieved significant victories against formidable opponents, elevating their position in world cricket.

Dinesh Chandimal’s contributions to Sri Lankan cricket cannot be undermined. With his exceptional skill set and leadership abilities, he has rightfully secured a place among the top 10 cricketers from Sri Lanka of all time.

10. Aravinda de Silva

Aravinda de Silva is widely regarded as one of the greatest cricketers to have emerged from Sri Lanka. Born on October 17, 1965, in Colombo, de Silva debuted for the national team at 18. Known for his elegant strokeplay and ability to perform under pressure, he became a key figure in Sri Lanka’s rise in international cricket during the 1990s.

De Silva’s most memorable moment came in the final of the 1996 Cricket World Cup when he played a match-winning innings against Australia. His unbeaten century propelled Sri Lanka to their first-ever World Cup victory and earned him the Man of the Match award.

Throughout his career, de Silva scored over 6,000 runs in Tests and over 9,000 runs in ODIs, with an average above 40 in both game formats.

In addition to his batting prowess, de Silva was a handy off-spinner who often contributed crucial wickets for his team. He retired from international cricket in 2003 but continued participating as a selector and administrator. Aravinda de Silva’s contributions to Sri Lankan cricket are immeasurable, making him one of their all-time greats and an inspiration for future generations of cricketers.

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