Chanaka Welegedara Biography
Chanaka Welegedara is a Sri Lankan cricketer who played in all formats of the game for the national team. He was born on 20 March 1981 in Matale, Sri Lanka.
Chanaka is a left arm fast-medium bowler and bats right-handed. Welegedara holds the record for the best economical figures in the history of Twenty20 cricket (4-2-2-4), surpassing Chris Morris’ previous record of 4-3-2-2.
Welegedara graduated from St. Thomas College in Matale, and was said to be a budding star at school level itself. His bowling skills earned him a place in the Sri Lankan pace academy in 2000. He then went on to the MRF Pace Academy in 2002 to further improve his bowling skills.
He was finally in a good place when he was picked up by Moors SC in 2002, where he picked up 34 wickets at a healthy average of 24.14.
He then slowly moved on towards the Sri Lankan developmental team in UAE.
Welegedara made his international debut in the test series against England on 18 December 2007. He put on a commendable performance, as he picked up four wickets, maintaining a healthy economy.
He then made his ODI debut on 15 December 2009 against India, where he picked up 2 wickets in a high-scoring match won by India.
He made his T20 debut on 30 April 2010 against New Zealand. He ended up picking one wicket in a thriller that was won by New Zealand. However, he has played only two T20 matches for Sri Lanka.
Rise to Glory
After playing a short stint for Moors SC, Welegedara impressed the selectors to earn a place in the test team. He often played for the ‘A’ team before he injured his ankle. His injury ruled him out of action for almost 2 years and he made a delayed debut only in 2007.
He was included in the Sri Lanka test squad for the 2008 West Indies Tour and for the 2009 Indian Tour. He showed flashes of brilliance, and mostly faded in and out due to a lack of consistency. He was said to be Lasith Malinga’s successor for the number one pacer’s spot in tests, but he failed to capitalise on the former’s early test retirement in 2009.
Chanaka played a total of 21 tests for Sri Lanka, and picked up 55 wickets at 41.32. His ODI career spanned 10 matches, with 15 wickets at a healthy 28.86.
Chanaka’s first-class career spanned a total of 116 matches and he has over 312 wickets at 30.65. He began his first-class cricket at Moors SC, and has played for the Tamil Union Cricket Team and Wayamba.