23 May, 2024


The Rise & Fall of Bhanuka Rajapakse: How Sri Lankan Cricket’s Mismanagement Dimmed A Superb Talent

By Udara Soysa

Udara Soysa

Sri Lankan cricket has a rich history of producing world-class talents that have left their mark on the international stage. Bhanuka Rajapakse, a superb left-hand batsman, seemed destined to be one of these stars. However, his journey has been marred by controversy and mismanagement within the Sri Lankan cricket system having to wait a decade to enter international scene, including accusations of irrelevant fitness issues that kept him out of the national team.

Early Promise

Bhanuka Rajapakse burst onto the domestic cricket scene with immense promise. His natural talent and aggressive batting style caught the eye of cricket enthusiasts and selectors alike. His early performances in domestic tournaments hinted at a bright future for Sri Lankan cricket, and he was even compared to some of the country’s past greats. Yet he had to wait a decade to enter the internetional scene. Even upon entry the opportunities were limited and inconsistent.

Instrumental in Sri Lanka’s Asia Cup Victory

In 2022, Bhanuka Rajapakse played a crucial role in Sri Lanka’s victory in the Asia Cup. His fearless and aggressive approach with the bat made him an asset in the middle order. Rajapakse’s ability to accelerate the scoring and his knack for playing match-winning innings were instrumental in securing the prestigious title with a 45 ball 71 not out turning the tide in Sri Lanka’s favor against finals. His performances in the tournament earned him a place in the hearts of Sri Lankan cricket fans. Yet this was short lived as Sri Lankan cricket ensured the success will not be long lived.

Fitness Issues Controversy

Despite his successes and contributions to the national team’s triumph, Bhanuka Rajapakse’s journey in Sri Lankan cricket has been far from smooth. There have been allegations of irrelevant fitness issues being used to keep him out of the national side. While fitness standards are crucial in modern cricket, it is essential to ensure that these standards are applied fairly and transparently.

Sri Lankan cricket authorities have faced criticism for their handling of Rajapakse’s fitness issues. Many believe that he was unjustly sidelined due to reasons other than his physical condition, potentially harming his career and the national team’s chances.

How Mismanagement Affected Rajapakse

The mishandling of Bhanuka Rajapakse’s talent reflects broader issues within Sri Lankan cricket management. The inconsistencies in team selection and the failure to harness young talent like Rajapakse have resulted in a decline in the national team’s performance. This mismanagement has hindered the progress of many promising cricketers and impacted the team’s competitiveness on the global stage. Rajapakse is one of them.


Bhanuka Rajapakse’s journey in Sri Lankan cricket serves as a cautionary tale of how mismanagement and controversies can dim the prospects of a talented cricketer. His contributions to Sri Lanka’s Asia Cup victory in 2022 showcase the immense potential that the country’s cricket system must harness. The allegations of irrelevant fitness issues and the challenges he faced are a reminder that the development and support of young talent are essential for the future of Sri Lankan cricket. It is crucial for the Sri Lankan cricket authorities to rectify these issues and ensure that deserving players like Bhanuka Rajapakse have the opportunity to shine on the international stage, unburdened by controversies and mismanagement.

*The author is an attorney at law and an avid cricket fan

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Latest comments

  • 11

    Our young athletes and sportsmen are corrupted and destroyed by criminal sports administrators.

    The Cricket Board after falling into the hands of wheeler dealers like Sumathipala, Nawaloka and Shammi has become a mafia like organisation. The affiliated clubs are bought easily by these racketeers ‘. Sri Lankan Cricket is now one of the weakest teams.

    The Olympic Commission is the same. These new rich type officials can buy the support of other sports bodies with money and gifts. It is well know that the Sri Lanka Olympic Committee is in the pocket of corrupt Arab promotors who have bribed them with dollars. In athletics Sri Lanka is one of the lowest performers, occasionally winning a bronze !

    In soccer we eve lose to Maldives. Our Soccer president was caught getting bribes at the Soccer general body !

    Will our President without a mandate take action against these chaps -they are his good friends after all ?

  • 13

    1) Mother of all crooks Mahindananda accused Sanga for losing world cup final to India 2) now Wimal accuses Mahila for the humiliating loss to India 3) Roshan says SLC diverted USD funds to private accounts 4) SLC selection Chairman Pramodaya says group of politician were behind bankrupt Lankan cricket 5) ex EC Mahinda Deshapiriya ( remember him , don’t know when he was nominated as international cricket expert ), says he is confident about Lankan cricket revival. I guess the guy wants to become next SLC member. 6) Vijitha Herath says Arjuna shouldn’t have been made an interim Chairman. 7) whole Parliament spend a day in getting rid of SLC 8) Finally Lanka is suspended by ICC for political interference. 9 ) this is silly / stupid/ sorry Lanka in nutshell.

    • 8

      Really sorry for missing the ultimate comedy 10) Prasanna says SLC funded JVP ??? 11) today’s news SLC summoned by COPE says Chairman Bandara

      • 7

        Sajith calls parliament resolution a ” historic moment that sends a message to the world that Lankan legislators ( read as criminals and crooks ) united to defend Lankan cricket and restore integrity of the game “, ……. LOL……. If they could do within 24 hours after conclusion of play, how come they failed to restore integrity of elections, rights, low and odor, economy ………. for years ?????

  • 6

    As a youngster I was fascinated by cricket. My ears were glued to the Radio to listen to the running commentaries, when Ashes were played. There was only one acceptable grounds, then, in Sri Lanka. The Oval, at Wanathamulla. Australia was to play a game at the Oval, on their way to England by ship. I travelled from Jaffna and proceeded to the Oval straight from Colombo Fort, to watch them play a 1-day game, and took the train back to Jaffna that very evening!

    • 1

      Is that the game , reportedly “Don of Cricket” (Bradman ) played ???

  • 4

    Cricket or any sports should be out of politics. Similarly Religions should be out of politics. But unfortunately, in Sri Lanka politics intruded not only in religions but also in sports which include cricket. Politicians in this land not only destroyed the country but also the religions and sports. It is pathetic that politicians who destroyed the country now in the process of destroying the cricket.

  • 3

    Will Roshan Ranasinghe be our next President? Cricket fans spread across the country are jubilant with what happened in the Parliament and the series of “Media Briefings” still going around. This Minister is the “Hero” at the moment. Are the “Horoscope” readers in Sri Lanka and India going to be the “Winners”?

    Today another “Media Briefing” by the Cricket Board, the Chairman, and most other members in attendance directing “Carpet Bombs” at the Minister. Interesting to watch that showdown against the Minister. This Chairman, Shammi Silva is behaving like a “SORCERER” who has taken an overdose of “Ice”.

    Watch this “DRAMA” for a few days more. Too early to “PREDICT” the role that would be played by the President and his “Advisor” – Sagala Ratnayake in this “DRAMA”.

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