Mahamarakkala Kurukulasooriya Patabendige Akila Dananjaya Perera
October 04, 1993, Panadura
Left hand bat
Right arm offbreak, Legbreak
Mahanama Vidyalaya, Panadura
Another installment from Sri Lanka's production line of unorthodox spinners, Akila Dananjaya sparked controversy when he was picked in the preliminary squad for the 2012 World Twenty20, despite never having played a professional match in his life. Able to deliver a legbreak, googly, carrom ball, doosra and a stock offspinner with astounding control, he had impressed Mahela Jayawardene so much as a net bowler at a Sri Lanka practice session, that Jayawardene requested he be fast-tracked to the national squad.
Dananjaya plays for Jayawardene's Wayamba United franchise in the Sri Lanka Premier League, and earned a call-up to the final 15 for the World Twenty20 after four fine performances in the tournament. He made significant contributions to that World T20 campaign, even playing in the final, but went out of favour with the selectors once Jayawardene stepped down from the captaincy. In the years since, Dananjaya has been sporadically picked in the Sri Lanka A team, but has not quite lived up to the promise of his early months in the spotlight.
He was picked again in a Sri Lanka squad for ODIs against Zimbabwe, in June 2017.
Andrew Fidel Fernando, June 2017
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