ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / Players / Chanaka Welegedara
Full name Uda Walawwe Mahim Bandaralage Chanaka Asanga Welegedara
Born March 20, 1981, Matale
Current age 37 years 66 days
Major teams Sri Lanka, Moors Sports Club, Sri Lanka A, Sri Lanka Board President's XI, Tamil Union Cricket and Athletic Club, Wayamba
Playing role Bowler
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Left-arm fast-medium
|Test debut||Sri Lanka v England at Galle, Dec 18-22, 2007 scorecard|
|Last Test||Sri Lanka v Pakistan at Colombo (SSC), Aug 14-18, 2014 scorecard|
|ODI debut||India v Sri Lanka at Rajkot, Dec 15, 2009 scorecard|
|Last ODI||Sri Lanka v India at Dambulla, Jun 22, 2010 scorecard|
|T20I debut||New Zealand v Sri Lanka at Providence, Apr 30, 2010 scorecard|
|Last T20I||Australia v Sri Lanka at Bridgetown, May 9, 2010 scorecard|
|Last First-class||Tamil Union Cricket and Athletic Club v Sri Lanka Ports Authority Cricket Club at Colombo (Colts), Mar 19-21, 2015 scorecard|
|List A debut||2002/03|
|Last List A||Sri Lanka Army Sports Club v Tamil Union Cricket and Athletic Club at Panagoda, Dec 14, 2014 scorecard|
|T20s debut||Moors Sports Club v Ragama Cricket Club at Colombo (NCC), Aug 17, 2004 scorecard|
|Last T20s||Badureliya Sports Club v Tamil Union Cricket and Athletic Club at Colombo (Colts), Apr 8, 2015 scorecard|
Welegedara was a late starter to cricket. He learnt to play the game for St. Thomas' College in Matale at the age of 17, but he made rapid progress performing in provincial matches. When he came to Colombo he was selected as one of 15 probables by Daryl Foster, the Australian fast bowling coach, for the Sri Lanka Pace Academy headed by former Sri Lanka fast bowler Rumesh Ratnayake in 2000. Soon afterwards he was sent to the MRF Pace Academy in Chennai to further develop his skills. Playing for Moors SC since 2002 he bowled his club to the Premier league title in 2002-03 capturing 34 wickets (avg. 24.14) in 13 matches. But his career-best performance came the following season when he took a match haul of nine wickets against Colombo Cricket Club to steer Moors to a comprehensive ten-wicket win. He took the majority of his wickets bowling inswing and trapping the batsmen leg before. Welegedera toured Sharjah with the Sri Lanka Academy side and took seven wickets against UAE, which earned him selection for Sri Lanka A. But he suffered an ankle injury and had to be operated in Australia. The injury kept him out of cricket for 1 ½ years, but his Test debut finally arrived against England, in Galle, during the 2007-08 series.
Often looked to as the leader of the pace attack, after it became apparent that Lasith Malinga would not return to Tests, Welegedara has had a mixed time at the top level. He improved considerably throughout 2011, and then turned in his best performance for Sri Lanka at the end of the year, as he took 5 wickets for 52 in the first innings in Durban, to help set up Sri Lanka's maiden Test win in South Africa.
He has since been plagued by various injuries, and his absences have seen others make claims for the pace spearhead role in the past year.
Sa'adi Thawfeeq and ESPNcricinfo staff July 2008
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