Bhanuka Rajapaksa – Interview

19 year old Bhanuka learnt the rudiments of the game at his Alma Mater Royal College Colombo. He not only captained his prestigious institution, but went onto represent the Sri Lanka under 19 team in the recently concluded under 19 World Cup in New Zealand. Sri Lanka Cricket has given this young talented left hand bat great opportunities by giving their under 19’s exposure by arranging tours against their counterparts in South Africa, England, Australia, and also a home series against Pakistan and Bangladesh. Bhanuka was the leading scorer for his country in the World Cup aggregating 253 runs, he also showed his class against the Australians in their own back yard when he pummeled the strong Aussie attack to compile his career best of 154 off 111 deliveries, a series which his team won in down under.

BT: – Happy with your achievement so far in the international arena?

BR:- so far so good, I have grabbed the given opportunities with both hands, I have done my best and am pleased that I have taken all the steps with caution in achieving my objective to play for my country sooner rather than later.

BT: – You I’m told by your coach should do much more with the bat with your capabilities, has temperament been the cobble stone in your career so far?

BR: – As a youngster, I was care free, but now life has changed. With maturity, my temperament to play a long innings is taking shape. I have proved my willingness spend time at the wickets I n the recent past, and I am more than convinced that will be my plan as life goes on, out in the center.

BT: – Now that you have a contract with SLC, is Cricket going to be your lively hood?

BR: – Yes Cricket is my priority, I am grateful to the selectors for giving me a contract, it’s a huge bonus. Having said that cricket has its glorious uncertainties, so is life I reckon, hence I’m’ also doing law, LLb is my first step, basically law suites me, it’s a guide line and will help me when I start wearing older man’s clothes.

BT: – What arrears you reckon that you should work on to emulate your childhood fans namely Adam Gilchrist, Kumar Sangakkara and Mike Hussey?

BR: – I love the way these players who are left handers, set about planning their innings. It is a delight to watch their footwork, their hand eye coordination. I suppose the above mentioned players have no blemish with regard to their behavior both on and off the field. I want to be what I am, if I try to imitate these greats I will do damage to my style, yes I want to have my own style but learn from the heros.

BT: – Are you a player who is concerned in getting your technique to near perfection?

BR: – Yes I respect the technique factor, but it’s not gospel. My former batting coach Aravinda and my national coach Naveed told me to play the way I know. I suppose I have to work on my technique only if I fail for long periods of time. For me batting is all about getting runs

BT: – Scanning thru your career so far you seem to switch on and switch off, in other words you can be brilliant today and ordinary the next day, have you given this a thought?

BR: – I take one day at a time. If I start middling the ball, I make it count, I make the opposition pay, but some days, we all get off days ,so what, keep concentrating and look forward to the next day

BT: – How come you got a passion for Cricket from a tender age?

BR: – Well like all youngsters, you are wide eyed about so many passions in school. I loved to swim, but due to health constraints, I was asked by my doctor, to be cautious of the pool. This was a blessing in disguise I guess, I took to cricket like ducks taking to water. Thanks to my dad I have come this far. Whenever I try to be lazy, he warned me of overweight factor, and being too fat… so Cricket has to come stay in my life, thank God

BT: – Briefly tell me about your daily routine as a professional Cricketer?

BR: – Keeping fit and focused 24 x7 is an understatement, if you want to be professional. To me I want to be professional, my closest friends are the Gym, the morning Jog, practice in the evenings, a bout of hyphobola and parabola at school, early dinner, and good hug of the pillow well before dawn.

BT: – Finally your views on Sri Lanka repeating their great achievement of 1996, in this World Cup?

BR: – We have a golden opportunity. Home conditions, 3 new venues, excellent bowling attack, with great variety, super top order batsmen, dependable middle order batters, what more do we need. Just go out there and claim the big prize which we richly deserve.

Interviewed by Brian Thomas – Media Manager, SLC

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  • Lahiru Ranatunga

    Wish you all de best Bhanuka, Most of sri lankans waiting for a Fast and technique operner for Sri Lanka. This is a good news for them.. Wish you again.

  • http://www.bbc.com abud rahim

    i froom srilanka

  • chathu

    keep going my friend your the next Mahela Jayawarda..in srilanka cricket.

  • Premasiri

    With the kind of selectors & other responsible officials we have had for the last 25 years at SLC, these extremely talented young players too may have to wait in the line for another 10 years or more to get into the 1st XI Team as many other brilliant schoolboy cricketers of the past (KHAUSAL SILVA,LAHIRU THIRIMANE,DINESH CHANDIMAL,DIMUTH KARUNARATHNA,ASHAN PRIYANJANA,ANGELO PERERA,WIMANGA PERERA,UMESH KARUNARATHNA,SACHITHRA SENANAYAKE,,S PRASANNA,MALINDA PUSHPAKUMARA,MALAN MADUSANKA,..) who had shown their class from the very young age as 15 years or sometimes they may never play for the Country because they too may lose interest of the game all together, since the selectors are still considering the ordinary schoolboys of year 2000 or even before that time. They also have been compelled to entertain GREEDY VETERANS who have no concern of the future of Cricket in this Country. The main problem is that we don’t have politicians of some intelligence. We could call these irrresponsible people as idiots because they are clueless of the fact that the future world class players do show their capabilities from very early age and they (not only just stars, these young skillful Cricketers are Economic Wealth of this poor country full of rogues & bogus stars) should be allowed to gain confidence when they are performing well and their interest of the Game at its peak as other well established countries do. Even if players likes TENDULKARS, VIRAT KOLIS, UMAR AKMALS,…. had been born in Sri Lanka, their fate would have been same like VARUNA WARAGODA, SAJITH FERNANDO, LANKA DE SILVA, DULEEPA SAMARAWEERA, SANJEEWA WARUSAMANA, INDIKA DE SARAM, CHINTHAKA JAYASINGHE,JEEWANTHA KULATHUNGA.IAN DANIELS,JANAKA GOONARATHNA…. Even if some extremely brilliant schoolboy cricketers (ATHAPATHU,HASAN,MAHANAMA,THILAN, DILSHAN …)had been selected for their continuous brilliance in the Domestic cricket scene, they too have been always sent to bat at wrong positions, thus hampering their performances as in the case of present day ANGELO MATHEWS. If we take SANGAKKARA & MAHELA for example we may find that they have had a very inconsistent school careers as batsmen, they were brought into the national side, just because their performances were highlighted more than they deserved by the media men who have come from same schools & provinces. Even now after 900 odd Internationals in between them they still find it very difficult to bat under pressure & difficult batting conditions because their carefree style of batting do not have any value under such tuff conditions. To overcome any tuff situation a good batsman ought to have a perfect technique (i.e. ability play the ball all along the ground & all around the wicket right from the middle of the bat at will) No batsman can depend on falls, edgy & lofted stokes all the time. To perform well a player must have a body of lightning reflexes, agility & flexibility. Blessed & talented players do have ability to see the ball early than others (the thing that we cannot find in aging batsmen). As for bowlers, the height is an added advantage (Though our selectors have always gone for bowlers of short weak physique) they should have perfect control over their body to bowl to one line & length. The bowlers of weak physique can never achieve total control over their bowling; they would be always erratic whatever speed they would be able to bowl.