Since its inception in the year 2008, 27 Sri Lankan cricketers have played in the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL). However, for the past couple of seasons, the franchisees have not been in favor of picking up Sri Lankan cricketers. While Isuru Udana was the only Sri Lankan cricketer to play in IPL 2020, no cricketer from Sri Lanka was part of IPL 2021.
The struggle of Sri Lanka in T20 cricket has been evident over the past couple of seasons. The team is currently ranked 9th in the ICC T20I rankings. They failed to qualify directly for the 2021 ICC T20 World Cup. The team will have to play the qualifiers and thereafter have a chance of qualifying for the mega event.
Sri Lanka triumphed over a depleted Indian side in the recently concluded three matches T20I series. The said win was the first bilateral win for the island nation in 21 attempts against India across formats since August 2008.
There have been a few Sri Lankan cricketers who have made an impact and could be considered for IPL 2022. Here is a look at three such cricketers:
#1. Wanindu Hasaranga:
The 24-year-old Sri Lankan all-rounder was named the player of the series in the recently concluded T20I series against India. He picked up seven wickets at an average of 9.57 in the said series.
Overall, Hasaranga has picked up 33 T20I wickets in 22 matches at an exceptional average of 14.45 and an impressive economy rate of 6.56. He has bowled well for Sri Lanka in power-play overs, middle-overs, and at times in death overs.
He is a handy batsman in the lower middle order and has an impressive strike rate of 110.98 in 19 T20I innings.
Considering his current form, Hasaranga could be one of the top players to look out for in the IPL 2022 auction.
#2. Dhananjaya de Silva:
Dhananjaya de Silva has been one of the most consistent players for Sri Lanka in white-ball cricket. He has been one of the bright spots for Sri Lanka in the past couple of years when the team has struggled to put on impressive performances.
Dhananjaya averaged 72 with the bat in the recently concluded T20I series against India. In 19 T20I innings, he averages 23.88 with the bat and has a strike rate of 110.03. He is a useful bowler too and can control the flow of runs in the middle-overs.
In ODI cricket, he has scored 7 half-centuries and is a reliable batsman in the middle-order.
He could make his debut in IPL 2022 considering the fact that he has a good temperament and his familiarity with sub-continent conditions.
#3. Charith Asalanka:
Although Asalanka has played only 5 ODIs and a solitary T20I for Sri Lanka, he has made an impact in the said matches.
In his solitary T20I, he scored an impressive 44 from 26 balls with three boundaries and three maximums. The gritty innings by the debutant displayed that he has the temperament to make a name for himself in international cricket. He averaged 42.33 in 3 ODIs against India with one half-century.
Asalanka is a useful bowler too and has tasted success at the domestic level.Asalanka could make his IPL debut soon considering the impressive performances he has put in in his first year in international cricket.