Dimuth Karunaratne, Sri Lanka’s ODI and Test skipper, was awarded the ‘Best Test Batsman’. Lasith Malinga, the T20I skipper, was crowed as both the ‘Best ODI bowler’ and ‘Best T20I bowler’. The duo was presented with the laurels at Sri Lanka Cricket’s Annual awards night on Tuesday, December 3. Karunaratne has been in charge of the Test and ODI team since the start of the year.
Though the Lankans couldn’t perform to expectations in the 2019 edition of the World Cup, Karunaratne stood like a rock and delivered with the bat. Under his leadership, the Islanders also managed to beat New Zealand in a Test match at Galle. Malinga, on the other hand, has done reasonably well. After making his comeback last year, he has found a bit of rhythm.
Back in 2007, Malinga picked up wickets in four consecutive deliveries in the World Cup. He repeated the same feat in the T20I series versus the Black Caps at home. Though it couldn’t win Lanka the series, the veteran was showered with praises from every nook and corner of the cricket fraternity. Malinga is now eyeing to perform well in the T20 World Cup next year in Australia.
SLC vice president praises the players
Among others, Thisara Perera got the ‘Best T20 batsman’ and ‘Best all-rounder’ awards. In the women’s category, the left-handed Chamari Atapattu was adjudged the best batswomen in ODIs and T20Is. Mohan de Silva, Sri Lanka Cricket’s vice president, lauded the players and backed them to achieve more laurels in the future.
“While lauding the award winners, I take this opportunity to remind our cricketers of the need to perform with greater zeal to bring glory to their motherland in the future on the international big stage,” De Silva was quoted as saying in Business Standard.
Sri Lanka had the tour of Australia as their last international assignment. Malinga’s men ended up losing the three-match T20I series by a margin of 3-0. Lanka are next scheduled to play a two-match Test in Pakistan, set to get underway on December 11. Earlier this year, Sri Lanka beat Pakistan 3-0 in the T20I series at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore under Dasun Shanaka’s leadership.
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