|Full name||Maitipage Athula Rohitha Samarasekera|
|Born||August 5, 1961 (age 57)|
|Height||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
|Test debut (cap 42)||25 August 1988 v England|
|Last Test||12 December 1991 v Pakistan|
|ODI debut (cap 36)||9 June 1983 v Pakistan|
|Last ODI||18 April 1994 v New Zealand|
|Domestic team information|
|1983–1994||Colombo Cricket Club|
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
One-Day International Cricket
Man of the Match awards
|1||Pakistan||WACA Ground, Perth||23 November 2016||1 Ct. ; 60 (86 balls: 8x4)||Sri Lanka won by 1 run.|
- ‘Big Sam’ was a hard hitter, The Island, Premasara Epasinghe
- There's an international cricketer in my back garden, Janaka Malwatta, ESPN cricinfo
- Sri Lanka tour of England, Only Test: England v Sri Lanka at Lord's, Aug 25-30, 1988
- Benson & Hedges World Cup, 3rd Match: Sri Lanka v Zimbabwe at New Plymouth, Feb 23, 1992
- "1989-1990 Benson & Hedges World Series - 3rd Match - Pakistan v Sri Lanka - Perth".