Sri Lanka XI
ESPNcricinfo picks the best Test teams of all time

Spinners

Murali and the rest

The world's leading wicket-taker, his likely successor, and three from the 80s

Sa'adi Thawfeeq

March 22, 2010

Comments: 45 | Text size: A | A

Ajantha Mendis bowls at training, Nagpur, December 17, 2009
Mendis: likely to inherit Murali's mantle © AFP
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One area where Sri Lanka has never been short of talent is spin. Since the time of Tommy Kelaart, regarded as the greatest left-arm spinner the country has ever produced, Sri Lanka has had a surplus in the department. From the time he made his debut, in 1890, Kelaart destroyed all opposition with his accuracy. He was the first bowler to take 1000 wickets in club cricket, and when he ended his career at 55 in 1926, he had over 2000 wickets. Kelaart was followed by Lucien De Zoysa, a legspinner who figured prominently in the national teams of the 1940s and 1950s. Another legspinner, Gamini Goonesena, divided his time between representing his country and playing for Cambridge University, Nottinghamshire and New South Wales till the 60s.

Throughout the 60s up until the mid-70s, spinners like Abu Fuard, Neil Chanmugam (offspinners), Anurudda Polonowita, Fitzroy Crozier (left-arm spinners) and Somachandra De Silva (legspin) dominated the game. De Silva was part of a three-pronged spin attack - along with offspinner Lalith Kaluperuma and left-arm spinner Ajit de Silva - that formed the nucleus of Sri Lanka's bowling in the early years after they got Test status. While Kaluperuma and Ajit de Silva cut short their budding careers by undertaking an illegal tour to South Africa and receiving 25-year bans, Somachandra continued till the mid-80s before the national selectors decided that it was time to start grooming young spinners.

Of the lot, left-arm spinner Don Anurasiri was the best, but he was not a match-winner. It was not until the arrival of Muttiah Muralitharan in 1992 that Sri Lanka had a spinner who could rattle entire teams with his unique brand of bowling. Left-arm spinner Rangana Herath, who bowled Sri Lanka to victory in the home series against Pakistan and New Zealand last year, missed out narrowly in the list of those in the running.

The contenders

Somachandra De Silva
De Silva worked hard to emerge as his country's leading legspinner, and he is still to be matched. He was unfortunate that his talents could not be displayed for a longer period at Test level because by the time his country were awarded Test status he was nearing his forties. He took 37 wickets in 12 Tests before retiring at 42.

Muttiah Muralitharan
The first wrist-spinning offspinner in the history of the game. Murali's super-flexible hand has made him especially potent and guaranteed him turn on any surface. Never has one country depended so on a single bowler for success in all formats of the game. Murali is used to bowling marathon spells, and despite the controversy that has surrounded his bowling action, he has etched his name in the record books as the leading wicket-taker in Tests and ODIs. He is the first player to take 1000 wickets combined in the two formats.

Ajit de Silva
De Silva was a highly rated left-arm orthodox spinner who failed to live up to expectations in the four Tests he played for his country and ended his career by going on a rebel tour to South Africa less than a year after Sri Lanka had become a Test-playing nation. It was hoped he would form a lethal spin combination with Somachandra De Silva during the country's formative years in Test cricket, but that not to be.

Ajantha Mendis
Mendis made a startling entry to international cricket baffling all batsmen with his crafty bowling, which comprised a variety of deliveries: googly, offbreak, topspinner, flipper, legbreak, as well as the carrom ball, released with a flick of his middle finger. In a short span Mendis was posing questions to the batsmen with his unpredictability. In his debut Test series, against India, he took 26 wickets, beating Alec Bedser's record by two. Although batsmen have begun to play him with more ease now, he still remains a dangerous bowler and the likely successor to Murali.

Don Anurasiri
Anurasiri was Sri Lanka's first-choice slow bowler from the late 80s to the mid-90s but never a permanent fixture in the side. Although he made his Test debut at 20, he never took a five-wicket haul in any of his 18 Tests. But he was successful in containing batsmen, especially on unresponsive wickets. A whole-hearted performer, Anurasiri lacked the penetration to become a match-winner in the side.

We'll be publishing an all-time Sri Lanka XI based on readers' votes to go with our jury's XI. To pick your spinners click here

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Tambapani on (March 25, 2010, 9:27 GMT)

Since my last post I had the opportunity to look up Daya Sahabandu on Google and found this link: for those interested in our formative years of the late sixtees and seventees it is really precious: http://rcpeople.blogspot.com/2007/10/daya-sahabandu.html. The match I referred to was in 1969 and included amongst others Colin Cowdrey and Tom Graveneyin addition to Edrich. I reproduce a quote on Sahabandu courtesy Premasara Epasinghe from the above article: "Your left arm bowler Daya Sahabandu, is easily the best I have faced in my 20 years of big cricket. I am positive, he should be able to find a place in any county side in England. No bowler could have bowled so well as he did on that plumb placid wicket", stated England's Tom Graveney, after scoring a century against Sri Lanka in Colombo. It is aslo noteworthy that Daya batted for over 4 hours at n0 7 in making 32 n.o. in our unofficial Test against India at Hyderabad in 1975 facing the likes of Bedi, Prasanna and Chadrasekhera.

Posted by Tambapani on (March 25, 2010, 8:36 GMT)

I think a very important left arm spinner has been overlooked: our equivalent to Derek Underwood, no other than Daya Sahabandu. I saw him bowl against an English team somewhere in the late sixtees that included amongst others John Edrich and Daya had some fantastic figures for the number of consecutive maidens bowled !!

I am surprised that he had been left out as one of our pannelists, Mahinda Wijesinghe, knows Daya well.

Posted by cricketchopper on (March 24, 2010, 11:50 GMT)

MY PREDICTION: Jury is going to select the following team: 1), Sanath 2)Atapatu, 3)Mahela, 4)Arvinda, 5)Ranatunga(c), 6)Sangakara (W), 7)Vaas, 8)Ramesh Tatnayeke, 9)Malinga, 10)Murlidharan, 11)Mandis.

MY TEAM: 1.Atapatu 2.Sanath 3.Dilshan 4.Arvinda 5.Mahela 6.Rana 7.Sanga 8.Vaas 9.VB Johan 10.Malinga 11.Murlitharan

Posted by   on (March 24, 2010, 11:48 GMT)

I will chose Murali and Ajith. This will give a left arm right arm combination to work with. (Just like Malinga and Vaas). Interestingly there is no photograph of him in the article. Say What? Ajith failed to live to expectations in the 4 matches he played!!!!!. Well anybody who saw him play may have a different opinion. How many overs was he given in those matches?. Who were the batsmen he took out including Gooch, Tavare, Fletcher(Considered the destroyer of spinners by many at the time). I think Somachandra might tell how Ajith made the preasure from the other end. However if he played more tests we would have seen his true colours, unfortunately just like Mahes he went to SA and the fans lost a great player.

Posted by DwightR on (March 24, 2010, 1:03 GMT)

i agree that outside of Vaas and Murali, SL is lacking true world class elite bowlers but saying that how can some people say that dilshan and mendis are too new and havent done enough so far but still want to include mathews..angelo mathews is my fav. player and i belive is the next great elite all-rounder and sanga's successor as SL captain but he is in the same boat, way to early to include him in anything.

Posted by sarathkumar2003 on (March 23, 2010, 15:04 GMT)

Its ridiculous, the spin wizard has come down to number two, and also KumarDarmasena is excluded in the list, who gave a great support to murali, in 90's

Posted by NALINWIJ on (March 23, 2010, 14:49 GMT)

Picking the greatest team cannot be achieved by picking the best individuals fitting the 5 batsmen,WK,3pacemen and 2spinner formula. You need balance, depth and flexibility under different pitches. In the absence of a genuine allrounder you need 6 specialist batsmen which would exclude a genuine WK. Apart from Vaas and Murali there are no great bowlers. The second spinner in this list involves 3 men who were not penetrative and MENDIS who has faded after great start and the idea of 2or3 part timers may be as effective and Thilan could bowl offspin. My revised team is 1.sanath 2.Attapattu 3.Sanga 4.Aravinda 5.Mahela [captain]6.Thilan 7.Prasanna[WK] 8.Vaas 9. Rumesh 10.Malinga 11.Murali and12.Mendis or Matthews could be substituted depending on the pitch. I will stick with the same ODI team 1.Sanath 2, Dilshan,3.Sanga[WK] 4.Aravinda 5.Mahela 6.Arjuna[captain]7.Matthews 8.Vaas 9.Malinga 10.Murali 11.Mendis

Posted by PHANTOM-X on (March 23, 2010, 11:33 GMT)

This is bull shit...!!! Rangana Herath is a quality spin bowler...He is not in the list... Kumar Dharmasena, Upul Chandana and Sanath Jayasuriya are also not there...

Posted by   on (March 23, 2010, 10:28 GMT)

My choice : Murali and Herath

Posted by Sampath_KCS on (March 23, 2010, 9:37 GMT)

Murali will be the number one choice.But there are quite a few who mentioned & not mentioned by Sa'adi for the second spot. Don A was not a match winner of course, but he was a partnership breaker. Have heard lot about S De Silva. As I always say it was after 1992 Aussie tour the test drought ended for SL thanks to late Tyronne Fernando who was then President of BCCSL. During this era we witnessed quite a few promising spinners in the likes of Warnaweera,Kalpage, Dharmasena, Jayantha Silva,Upul Chandana who made marathon bowling spells with Murali. There were super spinners like Nimesh Perera in the domestic circuit who never represented SL. I think Ajantha has long way to go & too early to take no.2 . I do not agree with the inclusion of ADe Silva since he was banned from the gentleman's game after SA tour on disciplinary grounds. Same with Bandula Warnapura & I wish Saddi would not short list him for the best captain.

Posted by   on (March 23, 2010, 9:25 GMT)

How is Herath not on the list, that is a joke, He is the second pick even now above mendis. And he has recently outperfomed murali as well !

Posted by ruwanSL on (March 23, 2010, 2:51 GMT)

It is always the best call of any all time 11 is Murali will be the first choce though out the world. We are honoured to have served him for us almost for 2 decades.

Well considering about Ajantha mendis factor is so crusual. but i do choose him as my second fevorite That is because he is the spinner for our future. He has started his carrier with showing his power. it is the duty of him & the sri lankan team management to get him polished properly. I am sure he will be the vepon of us in near future again.

There are few names missing here who were in test era who made good names. Firstly it was jayanandana warnaweera the first to be appaered from galle & done a good job in early 90s. Niroshan bandarathilake, jayantha de silva were really good partners to Murali in tandum. My fevote spinner missed his carrier is Thilan samaraweera who had done superb job a with absence of Murali.But after became a best of a bastman due to ... He is the best whom I have seen after Murali .

Posted by sujanm on (March 23, 2010, 2:39 GMT)

Hey guys dnt u notice dat 2 spinners from 90's r missing. Kumar Darmasena & Upul Chandana. I wud lyk 2 hav murali & chandana as my 2 spinners for the side

Posted by RemyLeBeau on (March 23, 2010, 1:44 GMT)

the selection of mendis is a joke.. he was successful initially because of his unique style...however he is no longer nearly as effective... the pakistani batsmen in particular have been able to play him with ease now, leading to him being dropped from the playing XI in the last test series between the 2 sides

Posted by amdtelrunya on (March 22, 2010, 21:42 GMT)

Only Muralitharan should make this list. Never has a country relied so heavily on one bowler? Are you forgetting Hadlee in the 80s, he is the one reason NZ were one of the most successful teams of that era (with WI and Pakistan). At least SL had Vaas with Murali.

Posted by GEBF on (March 22, 2010, 19:41 GMT)

Spinning Dept would be headed by Murali for sure, the supporting actors are DS for his Leg Spin and batting , with Ajit De Silva completing the trio.Of the 3 I think Ajit is the unsung hero, as when he played the Sri lankan wickets were meant only for batting.Fondly known as " ramba " he is lovely Team man in all circumstances; Asw for DS I have vivid memories of bowling to the West Indian Team led by Clive Lloyd, and the caught & bowled of Viv Richards @ the CCC. We are know all about the King of spin Murali for his human values : simplicity and humility . Long Live The King of Spin. Benil Fernando ( Sydney, NSW )

Posted by kotakade on (March 22, 2010, 18:57 GMT)

I agree that Ajantha's selection to this list is premature.

Murali obviously picks himself. My vote to partner him would be DS De Silva. DS obviously didn't get enough opportunities compared to the players of today. Wish he could have picked from the likes of Goonasena, Fuard and some others. I think Ajith and Lalith would have been in this list had they not toured SA.

Posted by randikaayya on (March 22, 2010, 18:29 GMT)

Its Murali and Rangana Herath. DS De Silva unfortunately hasn't had enough opportunity to be in an all time XI. But Mendis still has a veerrrrrryyy long way to go to prove himself worthy of a nomination to an all time XI

Posted by hoodbu on (March 22, 2010, 15:27 GMT)

How on earth is Herath excluded from this list? How is Ajit de Silva, a bowler who never took more than 2 Test wickets in an innings, on the list?

Posted by   on (March 22, 2010, 14:29 GMT)

" Murali's super-flexible hand"...that is the key. As for Mendis he is not the bowler Murali is or was...

Posted by   on (March 22, 2010, 12:38 GMT)

Mendis need his day for taking wickets.... while murli make his day by own self

Posted by hemant.brar on (March 22, 2010, 12:12 GMT)

mendis...in all time eleven.....i think it is too early for first april....

Posted by NALINWIJ on (March 22, 2010, 11:59 GMT)

Murali obviously but is there anyone else in this list deserve to be picked in an alltime list. Should we pick Murali with Sanath and Aravinda backing up. Out of the others only Mendis showed evidence of greatness briefly at Test, ODI and T20. He might prove himself again. Using the selection formula 5 batsmen, WK, 3 pacemen +2 spinners my list is 1.Sanath 2.Attapattu 3.Sanga (WK) 4.Aravinda 5.Mahela 6.Arjuna 7.Vaas 8.Rumesh 9.Malinga 10.Mendis 11.Murali 12.Matthews who would be selected instead of a bowler depending on the pitch. my greatest ODI would be same as above with Matthews instead of Rumesh but batting at 7 with Vaas at 8. Prasanna's omission is disappointing but 6 specialist batsmen would be necessary. I suspect the other 3Ms [matthews ,mendis and malinga] may prove themselves in the future.

Posted by NALINWIJ on (March 22, 2010, 11:59 GMT)

Murali obviously but is there anyone else in this list deserve to be picked in an alltime list. Should we pick Murali with Sanath and Aravinda backing up. Out of the others only Mendis showed evidence of greatness briefly at Test, ODI and T20. He might prove himself again. Using the selection formula 5 batsmen, WK, 3 pacemen +2 spinners my list is 1.Sanath 2.Attapattu 3.Sanga (WK) 4.Aravinda 5.Mahela 6.Arjuna 7.Vaas 8.Rumesh 9.Malinga 10.Mendis 11.Murali 12.Matthews who would be selected instead of a bowler depending on the pitch. my greatest ODI would be same as above with Matthews instead of Rumesh but batting at 7 with Vaas at 8. Prasanna's omission is disappointing but 6 specialist batsmen would be necessary. I suspect the other 3Ms [matthews ,mendis and malinga] may prove themselves in the future.

Posted by 9ST9 on (March 22, 2010, 10:57 GMT)

IMHO, herat is a better spinner than mendis. Mendis is highly regarded outside SL, but having seen a lot of him its possible to see actually where he is. He is a dangerous bowler,but to make it to the all time XI...???

Posted by chaithan on (March 22, 2010, 10:06 GMT)

mendis on the shortlist and herath not in? whose idea was it. the best combo would have been murali and herath. herath is far more consistent than mendis . this proves that mendis is the most overrated bowler in the world. he had a good start because of the carom ball surprise-big deal. he hasnt performed at all since then.

Posted by srini701 on (March 22, 2010, 9:56 GMT)

Ajantha Mendis and already in a short-list of all-time great XI? you got to be kidding, man...he's had just one good season and has miles to go before he can even step into Murali's shoes...Lanka will anyway have a host of part-time spinners in their ranks no matter who the final XI will be, so just Murali would suffice....Somachandra De Silva if you still need a second spinner, but at least be practical when you list potential names....

Posted by Dilee on (March 22, 2010, 9:53 GMT)

I'm really surprised not to see the likes of Ruwan Kalpage, Piyal Wijethunga & specially Kumar Dharmasena's names in the list. MUrali undoubtedly should be one, but the 3 above are great bowlers & has served Sri Lanka Cricket over the years.

Posted by Paki.Fan. on (March 22, 2010, 9:05 GMT)

Even Herath is a much better bowler than Mendis

Posted by   on (March 22, 2010, 8:36 GMT)

Murali is the only one needed - however if we have to pick two it would be Murali and Somachandra De Silva.

Posted by VajiraR on (March 22, 2010, 8:30 GMT)

Murali and DS. Could have been a very good combination. I don't think the list prepared is accurate. I wonder whether Ashantha de Mel got involved in preparing this list as it resemblances a team of his choice. Furthermore, Arunasiri is an (un)able partner of him in doing idiotic selections. Arunasiri was never a test class bowler. Even with the limited appearances, Rangana has proved that he is a match winner.

Posted by Rosh1 on (March 22, 2010, 8:25 GMT)

I chose Murali... of course would be the first player to chose in an all time eleven. I chose Mendis with a lot of reluctance ( I dont see other nominees as great. For instance D.S De Silva was spinning himself more than the bowl when he bowled). Ajantha Mendis one series to destroy the Indians is better than the other players' performances through out their career. I am not sure whether I will agree with most who say one spinner is adequate since Sanath and Aravinda can bowl. In a test match we should have specialized spinners and not batsman who can bowl a little bit of spin. In that case we should drop a pacie and have an additional spinner (If the wicket is spinning). Ideally a spinner/pacie can be as the 12th man in an all time test squad.

Posted by Chrishan on (March 22, 2010, 7:48 GMT)

I agree with most, in saying Murali is enough, but IF we were going to play two spinners I find it strange that guys like Dharmasena and Chandana have not been considered. Dharmasena served Sri Lanka well even though Murali used to take most of the wickets and I believe Chandana had talent but unfortunately was not given many opportunities. The thing with these two gents is that they could also bat and hold fort lower down the order. These gents are definitely a better choice than Mendis who has had just one successful series. Yes he took 26 wickets in his first 3 matches but since then has only taken 18 wickets in his next 7 matches.

Posted by Theena on (March 22, 2010, 7:41 GMT)

Like others before me, I don't see the point of selecting two spinners. Murali can - and has - bowled well in tandem with the part-time off spin of de Silva and Jayasuriya. And besides, his favourite hunting partner is not a spinner, but a medium pacie. His name is Chaminda Vaas and he should walk into any all time Sri Lanka XI. Mendis needs at least five more seasons like his debut series against India to even be short-listed, let alone selected.

My final XI:

Jayasuriya Sangakkara de Silva Jayawardene Samaraweera Ranatunga (C) Thilakaratne (wk) Vaas Romesh Ratnayake Malinga Murali

12th Man: Atapattu

I can't think of a more balanced attack: they bat down to Ratnayake, have three distinctive pacies, one very unique spinner and three clever part-time spinners. I feel for Atapattu - he would be unfortunate to miss from the XI, but I would rather not sacrifice the batting talents of de Silva, Jayawardene and Sanga by pushing them down from the top order.

Posted by HLANGL on (March 22, 2010, 7:27 GMT)

I think the legspinner Jayantha De Silva could have been developed into a more than useful bowler at international level, especially in the test XI to partner Muralitharan. Unfortunately he didn't get the same amount of opportunities as M'tharan got during his initial 2-3 years. The most probable reason may be by the time Jayantha De Silva reached international arena, Muralitharan had almost developed into a complete bowler, so unless there's room for 2 spinners in the side, De Silva never had any chances; a kind of similar story for Rangana Herath as well. Anyway, both these are better than players like Kumar Darmasena when it comes to the striking ability & the penetration. The players like Darmasena & Chandana were more utility players; bowlers who can be handy with both bat & ball, but except for a handful occasions, both wouldn't have won matches by their bowling alone.

Posted by mezrg on (March 22, 2010, 7:12 GMT)

We actually are forgetting the best spinner we ever had though his opportunities were limited - Ajith De Silva - Even Murali can't beat the variety he had. Was skillful to turn the ball both ways - no one knew whether it was a offie or a leggie !

Posted by   on (March 22, 2010, 7:01 GMT)

It should be Murali and Ajith De Silva. This list is incomplete without Rangana Herath, who will be Murali's successor. Mendis is poorly out of form and faces a career crisis.

Posted by shahzaibq on (March 22, 2010, 6:47 GMT)

I dont see how mendis can even be considered for a place in the "all-time" XI... he had one good season, and then the mystery wore off... ONE good season!!! these lists are becoming a joke. do we even have to have anybody other than Murali, considering that the team will have Jayasuriya and Aravinda, both more than handy spinners...???

Posted by nafzak on (March 22, 2010, 6:38 GMT)

Why 2 spinners? Murali wil do. He can bowl loooong spells that's good enough for 2 bowlers anyway.

Posted by Nish-55 on (March 22, 2010, 6:09 GMT)

Muttiah Muralitharan and Somachandra De Silva

Posted by Rydham on (March 22, 2010, 4:50 GMT)

Why selectors are reluctant to pick the players who have really played international games more ? Where is Herath ? Even Warnaveera could have been picked up.Dharmsena could have been thought

Posted by pranesh_csk_india on (March 22, 2010, 4:50 GMT)

Mendis? Murali's successor? You must be joking..... He'll be out before he even crosses 250 wickets. Sri Lanka seem to prefer Herath these days.

Posted by manasvi_lingam on (March 22, 2010, 4:42 GMT)

Obivously Murali! The man ROCKS!!

Posted by A_HTIMAN on (March 22, 2010, 4:29 GMT)

still Murali will be enough for this team. With only Murali and part timers Aravinda and Sanath operating it would still be a very great team. No need of another spinner. Add 6 batsman 1 keeper 3 paceman annd a spinner.

Posted by DwightR on (March 22, 2010, 4:14 GMT)

M & M, Murali and Mendis; Murali is unmatched..the best bowler not only from sri lanka but the world and in the history of the game, his records are unlikely to be broken in our lifetime, highest wicket-taker in both formats of the game over a 1000 total! legendary! mendis was a tricky call he probably needs to adjust his bowling more to get back his mystery but the way he entered the game is worthy of 2nd spinner staus tough call but mendis is the 2nd all time spinner all time XI- Sanath, Marvan, Mahela, Aravinda, Arjuna(capt), Sanga (wk), Vaas, De Mel, Malinga, Murali, Mendis; hope my team is close to what the judges think...look forward to seeing the results

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Sri Lanka Jury

Ranil Abeynaike
Former left-arm spinner and middle-order batsman. Captained Sri Lanka A against Australia in 1983. Former curator at the SSC in Colombo and national curator and school coach. Currently a commentator.
XI: Jayasuriya, Atapattu, Sangakkara, Jayawardene, Aravinda de Silva, Ranatunga, Somachandra de Silva, de Mel, Vaas, Rumesh Ratnayake, Muralitharan
Russel Arnold
Russel Arnold
Played 44 Tests and 180 ODIs for Sri Lanka between 1997 and 2007 as an opener, lower middle-order batsman and offbreak bowler. Now a commentator and columnist.
XI: Atapattu, Jayasuriya, Dias, Sangakkara, Aravinda De Silva, Jayawardene, Ranatunga, Vaas, Rumesh Ratnayake, Muralitharan, Malinga
Ranjit Fernando
Ranjit Fernando
Played ODIs for Sri Lanka in the 1975 World Cup. After retirement, has served as an administrator, national coach, selector and manager. Currently a commentator.
XI: Jayasuriya, Atapattu, Dias, Aravinda De Silva, Jayawardene, Sangakkara, Ranatunga, Vaas, Somachandra de Silva, Rumesh Ratnayake, Muralitharan
Ranjan Madugalle
Ranjan Madugalle
Played 21 Tests (in two of which he captained) and 63 ODIs between 1979 and 1988. Was appointed an ICC match referee in 1993, and in 2001 was appointed the first chief referee.
XI: Jayasuriya, Atapattu, Dias, Aravinda De Silva, Jayawardene, Sangakkara, Ravi Ratnayeke, Somachandra de Silva, Vaas, Rumesh Ratnayake, Muralitharan
Palitha Perera
Palitha Perera
Journalist and cricket commentator since 1963; widely held to be Sri Lanka's first to commentate in Sinhala.
XI: Atapattu, Jayasuriya, Sangakkara, Aravinda de Silva, Jayawardene, Gurusinha, Ranatunga, Vass, Rumesh Ratnayake, Muralitharan, Ajit de Silva
Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts
Author-compiler of the anthology, Essaying Cricket: Sri Lanka and Beyond. Historian and former teacher at Peradeniya University and Adelaide University.
XI: Wettimuny, Dilshan, Dias, Aravinda de Silva, Jayawardene, Sangakkara, Ranatunga, Rumesh Ratnayake, de Mel, Ajit de Silva, Muralitharan
Sa'adi Thawfeeq
Sa'adi Thawfeeq
Among Sri Lanka's most senior sports journalists. Has covered over 125 Test matches played by Sri Lanka, including all their home Tests. Presently sports editor of the Nation newspaper.
XI: Jayasuriya, Atapattu, Sangakkara, Aravinda de Silva, Jayawardene, Ranatunga, Goonatilleke, Vaas, de Mel, Muralitharan, Malinga
Sidath Wettimuny
Sidath Wettimuny
Scored Sri Lanka's first Test century, against Pakistan. Served as a match referee after retirement and also as Sri Lanka's chairman of selectors.
XI: Atapattu, Jayasuriya, Aravinda de Silva, Dias, Jayawardene, Sangakkara, Goonatilleke, Vaas, de Mel, Ajit de Silva, Muralitharan
Mahinda Wijesinghe
Mahinda Wijesinghe
Journalist. Author of Sri Lanka Cricket - At the High Table. Helped develop a device used in experiments to prove the legality of Muttiah Muralitharan's bowling action.
XI: Atapattu, Jayasuriya, Aravinda de Silva, Dias, Jayawardene, Sangakkara, Ranatunga, Ravi Ratnayeke, Vaas, Rumesh Ratnayake, Muralitharan
Daminda Wijesuriya
Daminda Wijesuriya
Professional sportswriter for the last 20 years. Has covered more than 90 Test matches and over 200 ODIs in Sri Lanka and overseas. Sports editor of a leading national daily newspaper in Sri Lanka for the last 15 years.
XI: Atapattu, Jayasuriya, Sangakkara, Jayawardene, Aravinda de Silva, Ranatunga, Vaas, de Mel, Rumesh Ratnayake, Mendis, Muralitharan

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Former New Zealand seamer Gavin Larsen talks about wobbly seam-up bowling, the 1992 World Cup, and his role in the next tournament

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