Ambidextrous spin sensation, Tharindu Ratnayake, will return to the UK in 2024 having recently signed with Marton for their NYSD campaign.
Ratnayake is a headline-grabbing tweaker playing for Sebastianites Cricket & Athletic Club in Sri Lanka’s domestic competitions.
One of the new breed of Sri Lankan spinners with the rare ability to bowl with both arms, Ratnayake has dominated domestic cricket in recent years.
Since his first-class debut in 2015/16, the tweaker has taken almost 400 wickets – 260 plus in first-class games, alongside averages in the low-20s in white-ball cricket.The ambidextrous spinner, who’s equally adept bowling off-spin and left-arm orthodox, started to hit his straps whilst playing for Moors Sports Club in 2017/18. His season tally of 46 wickets (with four 5-wicket hauls) saw him top his side’s wicket charts and finish as the 6th leading wicket-taker in Tier A of Sri Lanka’s Premier Tournament.
Following a barnstorming season with Moors, Ratnayake returned to Sinhalese Sports Club for the 2018/19 season. He excelled, finishing 3rd on the Premier League (Tier A) wicket charts with 53 wickets at 29.05. Whilst less prolific in 2019/20, the spinner still managed a further 19 wickets at 34.15.
Post-COVID, normal service would resume, as Ratyanake would enjoy a wicket-filled summer bagging 61 wickets at 25.37 to finish as Sri Lanka’s 5th leading Premier League wicket taker.
Whilst he’s hit headlines courtesy of his unique bowling ability, Ratnayake is also a competent left-hand batter, boasting 6 half centuries across the three formats, including a highest first-class score of 74.
An exciting prospect, in more ways the one, the ambidextrous spinner rocked up for his maiden UK stint in 2018 and, unsurprisingly, impressed. Playing for Thornaby in the North Yorkshire and South Durham Premier League, he took 75 wickets across league and cup matches, averaging 10.24, going wicketless in only 1 of his 28 matches. He topped the ECB Premier League wicket charts with 59 wickets at 10.85 and also weighed in with 301 runs at 23.15 with the bat.
The talented tweaker, who now holds a UKCC level 2, was set to return to Thornaby in 2019, but due to Super Provincial selection, the club terminated his contract. Their loss though, proved to be Buckingham Town’s gain, as the Sri Lankan superstar bagged 28 poles at 14.46 to finish third in the Home Counties ECB Premier League wicket-charts, despite missing the first part of the season.
Rathnayake is a stand-out performer and arguably one of the best spinners outside International cricket, who is now set on a third UK stint having signed with Marton for their 2024 NYSD campaign.