Chandrasekara Arachchilage Kasun Rajitha, born on June 1, 1993, is a name that’s been making waves in the world of international cricket. This Sri Lankan cricketer, who hails from St. Servatius’ College, Matara, has rapidly risen through the ranks to become a formidable presence on the cricket field. Let’s take a closer look at the journey of this talented cricketer.
Early and Domestic Cricket Career
Kasun Rajitha’s journey in cricket began to take shape when he represented the Sri Lanka Board President’s XI against the Indian national cricket team in August 2015. This was his initial foray onto the big stage, hinting at the promise that lay ahead.
March 2018 marked a significant milestone as he was selected to represent Kandy in the 2017–18 Super Four Provincial Tournament. His performances during the tournament didn’t go unnoticed, as he emerged as the leading wicket-taker for Kandy with ten dismissals in just two matches.
The following month, he was once again named in Kandy’s squad, this time for the 2018 Super Provincial One Day Tournament. Rajitha’s consistent performances in domestic cricket were setting the stage for a potential international call-up.
In August 2018, his name appeared in Galle’s squad for the 2018 SLC T20 League. This tournament saw him shine as he emerged as the leading wicket-taker, claiming an impressive thirteen dismissals in just six matches. His ability to pick up crucial wickets in the shortest format was a valuable asset.
Rajitha’s consistent performances earned him a spot in Kandy’s squad for the 2019 Super Provincial One Day Tournament, further solidifying his reputation as a reliable wicket-taker in limited-overs cricket.
In October 2020, he was drafted by the Dambulla Viiking for the inaugural edition of the Lanka Premier League (LPL), showcasing his talent on one of the most significant stages in Sri Lankan cricket.
International Debut and Early Success
Kasun Rajitha made his Twenty20 International (T20I) debut for Sri Lanka against India on February 9, 2016. In a memorable debut performance, he made an immediate impact by taking the wickets of two Indian top-order batsmen in his very first over. Sri Lanka comfortably won the match, and Rajitha was awarded the Man of the Match for his figures of 3 for 29 runs. This victory also catapulted Sri Lanka to the number one spot in the T20I rankings.
In May 2018, he was named in Sri Lanka’s Test squad for their series against the West Indies. His Test debut came on June 14, 2018, against the West Indies, where he took his first Test wicket by dismissing Kraigg Brathwaite.
The following month, in July 2018, he made his One Day International (ODI) debut for Sri Lanka against South Africa. His maiden ODI wicket was the prized scalp of Quinton de Kock, a testament to his ability to make an impact at the highest level.
Record-Breaking Partnerships and World Cup Selection
March 2019 witnessed a remarkable achievement as Rajitha, along with Isuru Udana, formed the highest partnership for the tenth wicket in an ODI match for Sri Lanka, contributing 58 runs. Though he didn’t score any runs in the partnership, his crucial presence helped his team reach a competitive total.
In June 2019, he received a call-up to Sri Lanka’s squad for the 2019 Cricket World Cup, stepping in for Nuwan Pradeep, who had contracted chickenpox. This was another significant milestone in his career, as he had the opportunity to represent his nation on cricket’s grandest stage.
A Record-Breaking Innings
On October 27, 2019, in a T20I match against Australia, Kasun Rajitha found himself on the wrong side of history. He conceded 75 runs from his four overs, registering the most expensive bowling figures in a T20I match. While it wasn’t his best performance, it’s worth noting that even the best cricketers have challenging days.
Milestone in Test Cricket
May 2022 marked a turning point in Rajitha’s Test career. In the second match against Bangladesh, he achieved a significant milestone by taking his first five-wicket haul in Test cricket, finishing with impressive figures of 5/64. This performance showcased his ability to make an impact in the longest format of the game.
Kasun Rajitha’s cricketing journey has been one of resilience, hard work, and undeniable talent. From his early days in domestic cricket to representing Sri Lanka on the international stage, he has consistently proven his worth as a valuable asset to the national team.
As he continues to develop and hone his skills, cricket enthusiasts eagerly await the future contributions of Kasun Rajitha to Sri Lankan cricket. With his ability to swing the ball and pick up crucial wickets, he remains a key player in Sri Lanka’s cricketing landscape.