Rishton can today announce the signing of Sri Lankan superstar Asela Gunaratne for their 2022 Lancashire League campaign.

A prolific all-rounder

Asela Gunaratne is a batting allrounder from Kandy who made quite an impact in his two years of international cricket (2016-19).

The hard-hitting batter first rose to the limelight with consistent performances for Sri Lanka Army Sports Club. He averaged more than 50 in three of the four Premier League Tournaments between 2012 and 2016. His wide range of strokes, including his favoured reverse sweep, not to mention his canny medium pace, had also helped his case.

International success

He was a sporadic performer when chosen in the A side, yet was immediately effective in Tests, hitting a fifty and a hundred in his first three international innings, against Zimbabwe. With Angelo Mathews ruled out of that tour, Gunaratne also earned a place in the ODI squad, and made an impact with his dibbly-dobbly slow-medium bowling, claiming eight wickets at an average of 14.5 as Sri Lanka won the tri-nations trophy in Zimbabwe, in November 2016.

In the ODI series that followed, he hit a magnificent century against South Africa, becoming the first Sri Lankan player to hit a ton at number 6. His claim to fame was helping Sri Lanka claim a T20 series in Australia in February 2017 by knocking off 84 in 46 balls in Geelong – three consecutive sixes in the penultimate over included, in a chase of 174.

His great international year resulted in a contract with Mumbai for the 10th edition of the Indian Premier League, although he was benched throughout the tournament. In November 2017, he won four awards at Sri Lanka Cricket’s annual awards ceremony, including two awards for the best all-rounder.

Unfortunately, Gunaratne played his last international match on the tour to New Zealand in January 2019, and seemingly at the age of 35, it appears his national days are behind him. Nevertheless, he continued to excel in domestic cricket, playing in the Lanka Premier League, the SCL T20 League, and Franchise tournaments including the Bangladesh Premier League.

Asela Lancs League bound

Gunaratne, who averaged 56.87 in his 6 Test matches, is now set to showcase his talent with another overseas stint – this time for Lancashire League side Rishton for their 2022 season.