Athula Samarasekera

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Athula Samarasekera
අතුල සමරසේකර
Personal information
Full nameMaitipage Athula Rohitha Samarasekera
BornAugust 5, 1961 (1961-08-05) (age 57)
Galle
NicknameBig Sam
Height6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
BattingRight-hand bat
BowlingRight-arm medium
International information
National side
Test debut (cap 42)25 August 1988 v England
Last Test12 December 1991 v Pakistan
ODI debut (cap 36)9 June 1983 v Pakistan
Last ODI18 April 1994 v New Zealand
Domestic team information
YearsTeam
1983–1994Colombo Cricket Club
Career statistics
Competition Test ODI FC
Matches 4 39 57
Runs scored 118 844 2737
Batting average 16.85 22.81 33.79
100s/50s –/1 –/4 6/13
Top score 57 76 191
Balls bowled 192 338 3774
Wickets 3 0 46
Bowling average 34.46 39.58
5 wickets in innings
10 wickets in match n/a
Best bowling 2/38 3/31
Catches/stumpings 3/– 5/– 36/–
Source: Cricinfo, 5 June 2010

Maitipage Athula Rohitha Samarasekera (born August 5, 1961 in Galle) is a Sri Lankan Australian cricket coach and former cricketer[1] who is currently working as a cricket coach in Australia. He was a hard hitting opening batsman and a medium fast bowler, who played four Tests and 39 ODIs between 1983 to 1994.[2]

Samarasekera was a member of the Sri Lankan cricket teams participated for the cricket world cups in 1983 and 1992.[3]

Early years[edit]

Athula Samarasekera started his cricket career at Mahinda College, Galle, where he had his education. He captained his college cricket team at the annual Richmond–Mahinda Cricket Encounter in 1981. Then he joined the Colombo Cricket Club, where he subsequently became a permanent fixture of the team.

International career[edit]

Samarasekera made his One Day International debut at Swansea against Pakistan during the 1983 Cricket World Cup and made his Test debut 5 years later against England at the Lord's in August 1988. He scored a half century in the second innings of his first test and took three wickets in the match, though Sri Lanka went on to lose the game by 7 wickets.[4]

Samarasekera was one of the first openers to successfully take the advantage of field restrictions by hitting air-borne shots in ODI cricket. His most memorable ODI performance came in the 1992 cricket world cup, when he scored a brisk 75 against Zimbabwe, reaching his half century in just 31 balls in the first ever successful run chase of over 300 runs in ODI history.[5]

Tall and correct, he was an aggressive batsman and more than handy bowler, but failed to make his mark in international cricket with the limited opportunities he got. His elder brother Anura Samarasekera was also a first class cricketer in Sri Lanka.[2]

After cricket[edit]

Samarasekera chose to end his international career in 1994 by deciding to take up professional cricket in Bangladesh, since he never had the opportunity to fully establish a permanent position in the team.[2]

Athula now lives in Hampton Park, a suburb of Melbourne. He and his wife Thilani have two sons, Sikhi and Seth, and a daughter, Seenai. He coaches young cricketers in the arts of batting and bowling.

International awards[edit]

One-Day International Cricket[edit]

Man of the Match awards[edit]

No Opponent Venue Date Match Performance Result
1 Pakistan WACA Ground, Perth 23 November 2016 1 Ct. ; 60 (86 balls: 8x4)  Sri Lanka won by 1 run.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.espncricinfo.com/magazine/content/story/598345.html
  2. ^ a b c ‘Big Sam’ was a hard hitter, The Island, Premasara Epasinghe
  3. ^ There's an international cricketer in my back garden, Janaka Malwatta, ESPN cricinfo
  4. ^ Sri Lanka tour of England, Only Test: England v Sri Lanka at Lord's, Aug 25-30, 1988
  5. ^ Benson & Hedges World Cup, 3rd Match: Sri Lanka v Zimbabwe at New Plymouth, Feb 23, 1992
  6. ^ "1989-1990 Benson & Hedges World Series - 3rd Match - Pakistan v Sri Lanka - Perth".

External links[edit]