Matches (15)
T20 World Cup (5)
IND v SA [W] (1)
T20 Blast (6)
CE Cup (3)

Full Name

Mathurage Don Kusal Janith Perera

Born

August 17, 1990, Kalubowila

Age

33y 305d

Batting Style

Left hand Bat

Fielding Position

Wicketkeeper

Playing Role

Wicketkeeper Batter

Height

5ft 6in

Education

Royal College, Colombo

Possessed of a short backlift, powerful forearms and relentless bloody-mindedness, left-handed batsman Kusal Janith Perera's batting is not just inspired by his hero Sanath Jayasuriya's technique, at times, it seems an exact duplicate.

Like Jayasuriya, he has a second skill - though it is wicketkeeping rather than slow left-arm, and he was part of Sri Lanka's Under-19 teams, before he joined Colts Cricket Club as a senior. At Colts, Perera quickly set about forging a career founded on aggression and reliability in equal parts, and after two seasons, Sri Lanka's selectors could no longer ignore him.

An injury to Kumar Sangakkara saw him earn a place in Sri Lanka's limited-overs squad to Australia in January 2012, where his breezy innings made plain his talent - particularly during a 22 not out at the Gabba that took Sri Lanka home in a low-scoring ODI. Though a middle-order batsman by reputation, he was promoted to the position of opener in the two Twenty20s that followed, where he continued to play impactful innings

On return to Sri Lanka, Perera hit a first-class double-ton, then a 275-ball 336, and had proved enough to the selectors to be given a central contract and an extended run in the limited-overs sides.

Perera hit his maiden ODI century in Mirpur in 2014 to help Sri Lanka complete a 3-0 whitewash over Bangladesh. He then hammered a 17-ball half-century, Sri Lanka's joint-fastest, against Pakistan in Pallekele in July 2015, to equal Jayasuriya's record.

A month later Perera was handed his Test debut against India in Colombo. He made twin fifties, becoming only the second Sri Lanka batsman to score two half-centuries on debut.

Perera's burgeoning career hit a stumbling block in December 2015 when he was provisionally suspended from international cricket by the ICC, after having failed a dope test. He was recalled from Sri Lanka's tour of New Zealand and subsequently missed a bilateral T20 series in India, Asia Cup, and World T20.

His plight appeared bleak when his initial sample tested positive for the performance-enhancing drug, 19-Norandrostenedione, but it grew bleaker when his B sample returned identical results.

Perera had strong support from SLC, though, and also spent a substantial amount of his own money in fighting the WADA-approved lab's findings. His campaign to be cleared included a trip to England for a polygraph test, a hair analysis and a separate urine test, as well as substantial coordination with his main legal team, which was based in the UK.

All this eventually paid off when his name was cleared in May 2016, bringing his suspension to an end after five months out - the Qatar-based lab's findings were deemed "unsustainable" for "scientific and technical reasons" by an independent expert hired by the ICC.
ESPNcricinfo staff

Kusal Perera Career Stats

Batting & Fielding

FormatMatInnsNORunsHSAveBFSR100s50s4s6sCtSt
Tests224131177153*30.97162972.252715112198
ODIs1161115323713530.53348592.8861736252503
T20Is6665216778426.611286130.4001315555176
FC821379514033640.15633681.12132356811910323
List A201191145915161*33.41635293.12113463911510930
T20s160155936968725.312752134.300273421464927

Bowling

FormatMatInnsBallsRunsWktsBBIBBMAveEconSR4w5w10w
Tests22------------
ODIs116------------
T20Is66------------
FC82------------
List A201------------
T20s160------------
Mathurage Don Kusal Janith Perera

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Test
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Photos of Kusal Perera

Sri Lanka won the T20I series 2-1
Kusal Perera hacked 57 off 27 balls to give MI Emirates' chase the perfect start
Maheesh Theekshana struck twice in the sixth over
Kusal Perera counterattacked for Sri Lanka amid plenty of early blows
Kusal Perera hit 12 fours during his 82-ball 78
Kusal Perera became Pat Cummins' second victim