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11 Facts about Amila Aponso – the unheralded left arm spinner from Sri Lanka

Amila Aponso
Amila Aponso. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The Sri Lankan selectors sprung a surprise when they named the young 23-year old left arm spinner Amila Aponso in their squad for the limited overs series against Australia. Not many had heard of the rookie spinner but his style of bowling and its resemblance to that of Rangana Herath might have worked in favor of him.

What Herath did to the Aussies in the Test series is a history. It will only be interesting to see if the young man gets a go and if he does, what he comes up with. Meanwhile, here are some interesting facts about Amila Aponso:

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1. Roots and beginnings

Amila Aponso was born on 23 June 1993 in the capital city of Colombo. He had an inclination towards the game of cricket right from his childhood and joined the Colts Cricket Club to hone his talent.

2. The formal education

Amila is a graduate from the St. Sebastian’s college, Moratuwa – a large suburban area in Colombo.

3. The big switch

Aponso had a reasonably good start to his club cricket career for Colts CC, but his leap of faith came when he switched to the Ragama Cricket Club – a club that he is still very much a part of.

4. Emergence at the U19 level

Aponso got into the Sri Lanka U19 team in the 2011-12 season and played 20 matches at the level. He picked up 25 wickets in 20 matches at a bowling average of 24.28 with 2 four wicket hauls. His best effort came against England U19 when he bagged 4/25.

5. Top show in debut season

He made his First Class debut in 2015 and immediately showed great promise. With 31 wickets to his name at an impressive average of 20.9, Aponso was one of the leading performers in the 2015 domestic season in Sri Lanka.

6. Drafted to the Sri Lanka A team

His heroics in the 2015 season earned him a spot in Sri Lanka A squad that toured New Zealand in 2015.

7. An even better 2016 season

Aponso continued performing at the domestic level. In the 2016 domestic season, he bettered his own performance and scalped 47 wickets at an average of 20.97. He was the 3rd leading wicket taker of the season.

8. A domestic giant

Despite having played just a couple of seasons in the domestic circuit, Aponso has already crossed the 100-wicket mark. In 27 First Class matches, he has bagged 111 wickets at an average close to 23 and an economy just over 3.

9. 13-wicket haul and the national call!

Amila Aponso was drafted to the Sri Lanka Development Squad that toured South Africa earlier this year. He impressed there as well. In the 4-day match against South Africa Emerging players, he bagged 5/95 in the first innings. He followed it up with figures of 8/112 in the 2nd innings. Owing to his 13-wicket haul at Potchefstroom, he received a call up in the national side for Australia’s tour to Sri Lanka.

10. Renowned for

Amila is a left arm spinner who is renowned for accurate line and lengths. He is not a big turner of the ball but can get through the defenses of the batsmen with his immaculate line and variations. He was a like-for-like replacement for Rangana Herath in the ODI team against Australia.

11. Major teams

The different teams he has turned up for are: Ragama Cricket Club, Sri Lanka A, Sri Lanka Emerging Team, Sri Lanka Under-19s, Sri Lanka Under-23s, St. Sebastians College.

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