Bhanuka Rajapaksa Raring to Go in the Upcoming 2022 Asia Cup


Sri Lankan batter Bhanuka Rajapaksa hopes to use his experience in the Indian Premier League (IPL) to improve the national side ahead of a crucial set of assignments on the horizon, including the 2022 T20 World Cup.

The left-handed batter looked in ominous touch for the Punjab Kings (PBKS) earlier this year, scoring 206 runs at a strike rate of 160. He was deployed at No.3 by management and fit well into their brand of cricket. He faced a brief spell on the sidelines when Jonny Bairstow was available for selection.

Speaking ahead of Sri Lanka’s opening Asia Cup group clash against Afghanistan, Rajapaksa said:

“For me, the experience I bring after playing in the IPL will create good energy for the side. One of the best chats I had with Liam [Livingstone] was when he said, ‘If it’s in the V, make sure the ball is in the trees’. He’d just be that aggressive. Proper slam-bang player.”

The flamboyant left-handed batter worked hard on his fitness after initially quitting the national team over differences with then-head coach Mickey Arthur. He had a fruitful individual campaign at the 2021 T20 World Cup and hopes to replicate the same in the coming months.

The 30-year-old’s aggressive intent has garnered several admirers, which has subsequently helped him secure a deal with the Dubai Capitals in the upcoming International League T20.

Speaking further on how the IPL has helped him evolve as a cricketer, he said:

“Coming back to the Sri Lankan side, I have brought in a lot of positivity after speaking to a lot of the IPL players, like Shikhar Dhawan, Mayank Agarwal and KG [Kagiso Rabada]. I don’t think I have the time to explain in detail the talks we had, but there were a lot of positive vibes. I’m hoping we can take that same brand of cricket to the world.”