Chennai Super Kings (CSK) mystery spinner Maheesh Theekshana has opened up on his battle with fitness issues during his U-19 days, which constantly kept him away from the game. The 21-year-old revealed that he weighed 117 kg at the time and had to work extremely hard to get into shape as per the fitness parameters of the sport.
The Sri Lankan cricketer has been among Chennai’s most impressive performers in an otherwise disappointing IPL season. In eight matches, he has claimed 12 wickets at an average of 19.75 and an excellent economy rate of 7.41.
In a video shared on CSK’s official YouTube handle, the youngster recalled his battle with fitness issues and how he overcame them. He informed:
“I was 117 kg at that time (U-19 days), so I had to work harder to get my weight and skin folds down in the yo-yo test. In 2020, I got everything down and brought my fitness to the (required) level. I started to do more hard work on my body.”
Theekshana added that while he was not picked for U-19 matches due to his lack of fitness, he was also a water boy for an extended period in three-day games. He said:
“In 2017-18, I was in the U-19 squad, but I did not get a chance to play because I failed fitness tests a few times. In 2019, I had to be a water boy for 10 games in three-day matches. So, I knew that if I failed, I would have to carry the water bottles again. But I kept believing in myself and had that never-say-die attitude. That’s why I am here in 2022.”
The Lankan spinner’s standout performance in IPL 2022 so far came in a match against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai. He claimed 4 for 33 as CSK beat RCB by 23 runs.