Denby CC are delighted to announce the re-signing of future Sri Lankan star Shanuka Dulaj!
Shanuka Dulaj Withanawasam is an exciting talent who burst onto Sri Lanka’s domestic scene in 2015/16 taking T20 figures of 5-22, before hitting his maiden first-class hundred (128) a month later.
The former Prince of Wales College student has since played over 70 matches across the three formats. He boasts 3 centuries, including a highest score of 181*, all with an average over 35. Bowling opportunities have been limited, especially in red-ball cricket, but he still maintains a T20 bowling average of 10.16, courtesy of his career-best 5-22.
Dulaj shot to prominence a few years prior to his first-class debut, following an outstanding season for his College. He struck 1,249 runs and took 44 wickets during the 2013/14 Inter-School season and was crowned the Singer-SLSCA Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year at the inaugural Singer Cricket Awards.
A left-hand batter and slow left-arm orthodox spinner, Dulaj decided to forego domestic cricket in 2018/19 in favour of playing in Australia. Playing for Bonbeach in the strong Southern Bayside Competition, he helped his side to the Championship final courtesy of 607 runs at 50.58. He subsequently returned for a second stint in 2019/20, before returning to his new domestic side Burgher Recreation Club in 2020.
Dulaj has also impressed in the UK with 4 previous stints, playing in England in 2017 (Austerlands – Pennine Cricket League), 2021 (Stokesley – North Yorkshire and South Durham Premier League), 2022 (Denby – Derbyshire Premier Cricket League), and Scotland in 2018 (Arbroath United – CSL Eastern Premier Division).
During the former in the top tier of the strong Pennine Cricket League, he scored 548 runs at 34.25 and took 13 wickets at 34.85 with his left-arm spin. He then backed up with 447 runs at 31.92 and 12 wickets at 25.41 in Scotland, which reflects decent returns given the conditions. In 2021, he excelled again in the NYSD, this time with 776 runs at 36.95 and 17 wickets at 14.88.
Last summer, Dulaj enjoyed his most prolific season in the strong Derbyshire ECB Premier League hitting 1,434 runs at 55.15 with 3 centuries – 1,019 runs at 63.69 in the League alone.
It’s no wonder the Sri Lankan star, who is set to play for St Mary’s Cricket Club in Dandenong (Australia) shortly, was swiftly re-signed by Denby for a second stint in 2023.