Asela Gunaratne has proved me wrong: Coach Kuruppu

Asela Gunaratne has proved me wrong: Coach Kuruppu

Asela Gunaratne of Sri Lanka
Asela Gunaratne of Sri Lanka celebrates hitting the winning runs. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Aubrey Kuruppu, Sri Lankan batsman Asela Gunaratne’s school cricket coach, praised his student for the good show against Australia recently. He originally perceived the belief that Gunaratne is suitable for the longer format of the game, but he was pleasantly surprised to be proven wrong by his ward.

“It was not that he was not interested in cricket, he used to play in the paddy fields a lot, but he never pushed himself to attain goals,” Kuruppu said. “Initially I thought that his approach to cricket was only suited to the five-day game, but he has proved me wrong. He has shown that he is as good playing in all three formats. The first match he played against Trinity [College], I sent him at No. 9 and he made 12. In the next game against St Aloysius Ratnapura I was short of an opener and I promoted him up the order. He responded with a magnificent 158” he said.

31-year-old Gunaratne, made an immediate impact, after scoring his maiden Test century in the second Test against Zimbabwe last year after a well crafted fifty in the first Test. He carried his good form against South Africa and brought up his maiden ODI century in that tour and played two match-winning knocks against Australia recently, which handed Sri Lanka their third consecutive T20I series win in Australia.

He batted at No.4 at school and bowled medium pace. He is the first cricketer from his school Rahula College, Kandy to play at the international level. He also represented Sri Lankan army and scored heavily- 700 to 800 runs each season.

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Gunaratne was bought recently by the Mumbai Indians during the IPL 2017 auction for his base price INR 30 lakhs following his heroics recently. He will be eager to hog the limelight and make a case for himself by playing well in the league.