Akila Dananjaya is another in the long line of unique Sri Lankan bowlers. He’s a right-arm spinner with a versatile range of deliveries that include off-breaks, leg-spinners, googlies, and the elusive carrom ball. His wide repertoire of skills makes him a formidable challenge for any batsman.
What’s truly remarkable is Dananjaya’s inclusion in the Sri Lankan squad for the 2012 World T20, a decision made despite his lack of experience in first-class cricket. Mahela Jayawardene, the captain, was so impressed by Dananjaya’s performances in the nets that he lobbied for the untested spinner to be given a chance. However, this choice stirred controversy within certain circles of the Sri Lankan cricket community, where more seasoned players argued that their efforts merited recognition over an unknown entity like Dananjaya.
During the tournament, the enigmatic spinner consistently took wickets in all three matches, including a notable performance of 2-26 against the highly-regarded England team. His ability to combine mystery with precise control made it exceedingly challenging for opposing players to anticipate his deliveries. In the end, the selectors appeared content with their audacious selection, as Dananjaya’s unconventional style continued to befuddle and frustrate batsmen.