5 Sri Lankan players who you may not know were once part of the IPL
The 16th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is just around the corner and all 10 franchises are putting a lot of hard yards in the nets ahead of what promises to be another fascinating season.
Like every year, we have quite a few emerging players who are expected to make an impact on their respective franchises.
Over the years, Sri Lankan players have been an integral part of the cash-rich league and it won’t be any different this year.
The likes of Lasith Malinga, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Angelo Matthews and Wanindu Hasaranga have proved to be the lynchpins of their respective IPL franchises. Apart from them, quite a few Sri Lankan players have been part of the tournament without getting noticed.
While there is no doubt about the talent of the Sri Lankan players, given the tough competition, not many have gone on to make an impact in this cash-rich league.
With that in mind, let’s have a look at five Sri Lankan cricketers whom you might not know were a part of the IPL.
#1 Nuwan Zoysa
The former Sri Lankan left-arm pacer was a regular feature of the national squad back in early 2000s.
Remaining under the shadow of Chaminda Vaas for the majority of his career, Zoysa found it difficult to find a place in the Sri Lankan XI. Over an international career spanning 10 years, Zoysa played 95 ODIs.
The quickie played for the Deccan Chargers in the inaugural edition of the IPL and took two wickets in three games at an economy of 9.
Zoysa could not break into Chargers' playing XI in their title winning campaign in 2009. He was then released from the squad.
#2 Chamara Kapugedera
The former Sri Lankan middle-order batter was an integral part of the Sri Lankan side until the last decade, but his record is not something to boast of.
Despite playing 102 ODIs for the Islanders, he never got the recognition due to his inconsistency. Batting in the lower middle order, Kapugedera has scored 2,745 international runs in 153 matches across formats.
He was snapped up by the Chennai Super Kings ahead of the inaugural edition of the IPL. However, Kapugedera could never really cement his place in the side and only scored 16 runs in five outings.
#3 Sachitra Senanayake
The Sri Lankan offie was part of the Kolkata Knight Riders set up in the 2013 IPL season and played eight matches for them during that year.
He was quite impressive during the limited opportunities he got but unfortunately, this was the only year he was part of the squad. Senanayake bagged nine wickets iat an impressive economy rate of 6.53.
In 74 international matches (49 ODIs, 24 T20Is and 1 Test), Senanayake has bagged 78 wickets. His last international game was way back in 2016.
#4 Kusal Perera
One of the most high-profile names on the list, Kusal Perera was bought by the Rajasthan Royals ahead of the 2013 IPL season.
He played just two games for them, scoring 14 runs. That turned out to be the only season, Perera was part of the cash-rich league.
Perera has played 189 matches for Sri Lanka across formats, scoring 5,787 runs with eight tons. He was also part of Sri Lankan’s T20 World Cup winning campaign in 2014.
A swashbuckling wicket-keeper batsman, Perera played one of the finest Test knocks against South Africa in 2019.
Sharing an unbeaten stand of 78 runs with Vishwa Fernando, Perera (153*) helped Sri Lanka stage a dramatic comeback and win the match by one wicket.
#5 Jeevan Mendis
The former Sri Lankan all-rounder, Jeevan Mendis was bought by the Delhi Daredevils (now Capitals) ahead of the 2013 IPL season. He scored 23 runs in three matches besides picking up a wicket.
A left-handed lower-order batsman and wily leg spinner, Mendis played 80 white-ball games for Sri Lanka. He scored 843 runs and also bagged 40 wickets.
Despite his exceptional record in first-class cricket, Jeevan never really managed to be a permanent feature of the national side.
Get IPL 2023 Live Score along with Points Table & Schedule Updates at Sportskeeda.