Mathurage Don Kusal Janith Perera is a left-handed wicket-keeper batsman who hails from Sri Lanka. Born on the 17th of August, 1990, the aggressive batsman owns the record joint second fastest fifty of all time in ODI history.
Influenced by the Sri Lankan legend Sanath Jayasuriya, Perera changed his batting stance from a right-handed to a left-handed batsman at the age of 13. He has represented the Royal College of Colombo in the prestigious Royal–Thomian annual cricket competition.
Just like his idol Jayasuriya, Kusal Perera became a new identity after he started to open the innings for Sri Lanka. He was a regular member of the national U-19 side since 2007.
Perera’s 336 of 275 balls for the Colts Cricket Club was hard to ignore. The knock included 14 sixes and 29 fours. With this early achievement, Perera announced himself as an aggressive and a fearless cricketer.
Kumar Sangakkara's injury gave an opening to the young man who went on to make his debut against Australia on January 2013. He remained not out on 14 to take Sri Lanka to an 8-wicket win against the Aussies.
After his debut he had a stop-start sort of a career. It is only after the retirement of the Sangakkara-Jayawardene duo did Perera become a permanent member in the squad.
He made his Test debut in 2015 against India. He scored a fifty in each of the innings of the match.
Rise to Glory
In the second ODI against Pakistan in 2015, he smashed the hapless bowling attack to all parts of the ground. In this process, he scored a 17-ball 50 to equal his idol’s record.
Perera’s short backlift and powerful forearms coupled with his square cuts made him a force to reckon. He was an integral part of the Sri Lankan side that won the 2014 World T20 by beating India in the finals.
His top knock of 135 in ODI came in Dublin against Ireland in 2016. The young batsmen have just the lone century in Test cricket against Zimbabwe. He scored 110 when his team hammered the opposition by 225 runs.
Kusal Perera failed a dope test in 2015. His urine sample tested positive for a performance enhancing drug which forced him out of Sri Lankan team. He underwent ploygraphic tests to prove his innocence and with the backing of SLC, he came out with flying colours.