Upul Tharanga

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Upul Tharanga
උපුල් තරංග
Personal information
Full name Warushavithana Upul Tharanga
Born (1985-02-02) 2 February 1985 (age 32)
Balapitiya, Sri Lanka
Nickname Upula
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Batting style Left-handed
Role Opening batsman
International information
National side
Test debut (cap 103) 18 December 2005 v India
Last Test 15 March 2017 v Bangladesh
ODI debut (cap 125) 2 August 2005 v West Indies
Last ODI 1 April 2017 v Bangladesh
ODI shirt no. 44
T20I debut (cap 11) 15 June 2006 v England
Last T20I 6 April 2017 v Bangladesh
Domestic team information
Years Team
2000–01 Singha Sports Club
2003–present Nondescripts Cricket Club
2007–present Ruhuna
2014 Kandurata Maroons
Career statistics
Competition Tests ODIs T20I LA
Matches 27 201 16 311
Runs scored 1,568 5,929 216 9,562
Batting average 33.36 33.30 13.50 34.03
100s/50s 3/6 14/31 -/- 20/56
Top score 165 174* 37 174*
Catches/stumpings 21/– 37/– 2/- 84/2
Source: Cricinfo, 6 April 2017

Warushavithana Upul Tharanga (born 2 February 1985), commonly known as Upul Tharanga (Sinhalese: උපුල් තරංග), is a professional Sri Lankan cricketer, and a limited over captain for Sri Lanka, who plays for all formats of the game. He is a left-handed opening batsman and occasional wicket-keeper. Tharanga along with Sanath Jayasuriya holds the record for the highest partnership for the first wicket in One Day International (ODI) history with 286 runs.[1]

Early life[edit]

Upul Tharanga had his education at Dharmasoka College, Ambalangoda. He started his cricket career as a teenager at his school. Having played for Nondescripts since the age of 15, he played for Sri Lanka's under-15, under-17 and under-19 squads. He had a successful under-19 World Cup in 2004 with successful innings of 117 and 61 in successive games. He was sent by the Sri Lankan cricketing board to play league cricket for Loughton Cricket Club in Essex.

Tharanga's Sri Lankan call-up in July 2005 made for a mixed 2005, after his family home was washed away by the Asian tsunami. His equipment, which was also washed away, was replaced by Kumar Sangakkara. Tharanga graduated to the "A" team and in July he was selected for the full squad.

International career[edit]

On the 2006 tour of England he really began to develop, particularly in the one-day game, scoring over 300 runs in Sri Lanka's 5–0 whitewash of the hosts. In addition, Tharanga is also well known for taking part in a record-breaking first wicket partnership with Sanath Jayasuriya in the final match of this series. He finished off with 109 off 102 balls, and played a pivotal role in completing the whitewash against England in England for the first time.[2]

Tharanga lost his form in the 2007 World Cup scoring only one half century (against New Zealand) he then continued his poor run of form in the home series against England in 2007 where he failed to contribute and often fell before the 10th over often resulting in a middle-order collapse. Subsequently he lost his ODI place to Malinda Warnapura and his test place to Michael Vandort but he remains within the squad.[3]

However, in the 2011 World Cup, he is back to performing remarkably. In the quarter-final game against England, his partnership with Tillakaratne Dilshan, wrapped up the game, each acquiring centuries. His strong form has returned him to the opening position in the strong Sri-Lankan batting line up.[4]

He has also come in for special praise from Jayasuriya, one of the legends of cricket, saying that he could be the next captain of the Sri Lankan cricket team.

Upul Tharanga
Medal record
Men's Cricket
Representing  Sri Lanka
Asian Games
Gold medal – first place 2014 Incheon Team

Through ranks[edit]

Upul Tharanga is the second batsman in the world who was involved with 7 times 200+ partnerships in ODI cricket. The only other player to achieve this feat is Ricky Ponting.

On 2 July 2013, Upul Tharanga scored the second highest ODI score of 174* by a Sri Lankan only behind Sanath Jayasuriya who scored 189 against India. With that innings he became the 9th Sri Lankan player to pass 5000 runs margin. Despite of his low match participation, he has earned 13 centuries and 11 man of the match titles for his name throughout his international career.[5]

Test career[edit]

After 8 years of scarcity for Test cricket, Tharanga was called to the third Test match against Pakistan on 3 July 2015. He was used as the replacement for Kumar Sangakkara who did play for first two Tests, but not to third Test at Kandy, due to his retirement consideration during India tour.[6] He scored 46 runs in the first innings and 48 in the second innings. However, Sri Lanka lost the series by 2-1.[7]

Tharanga holds the record of waiting for maximum number of days between two test centuries. Since World War-2 it is the longest gaps between Test centuries by a player.[8]

Limited over comeback[edit]

Tharanga, who had a long ODI scarcity, was included to the ODI squad against Pakistan. Due to the retirement of Kumar Sangakkara, the number three position had a vacant and Sri Lanka cricket selected Tharanga for the crucial number three position in ODIs.


Due to multiple injuries of usual captain Angelo Mathews,[9] Tharanga was selected as Sri Lankan captain, to lead them in ODI tri series in Zimbabwe on 5 November 2016.[10] On 14 November 2016, he led Sri Lankan team for the first time in an ODI against Zimbabwe, which was won comfortably by 8 wickets. At the end, Sri Lanka won the tri-series by defeating the hosts Zimbabwe in the final by 6 wickets.Tharanga was also the 19th captain for Sri Lanka in ODIs.[11]

Tharanga was selected again as the ODI captain for the South Africa series, when Mathews was not available after he sustained an injury during the second T20I.[12] However, South Africa outplayed in all 5 ODIs and whitewashed Sri Lanka for the first time.[13]

On 9 February 2017, Tharanga was named as the T20I captain for Sri Lanka during the 3-T20I tour for Australia, where stand-in captain Dinesh Chandimal was ruled out from the tour due to poor performances.[14] Tharanga was also the 8th captain for Sri Lanka in T20Is.[15] Under Upul Tharanga's captaincy,Sri Lanka went on to win the T20I series against Australia in Australia,which means this was the record 3rd consecutive time Sri Lanka managed to win the T20I series against Australia in Australia.[16]

On 28 March 2017, he played in his 200th ODI match, when Sri Lanka played Bangladesh. In the match he scored his 31st fifty, but finally match ended in no result due to heavy rain.[17]

Doping violation[edit]

A urine sample provided by Tharanga after the world cup semi-final against New Zealand on 29 March 2011 was found to have metabolites of two glucocorticosteroidsprednisone and prednisolone, which are banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency.[18][19] Tharanga initially claimed he had taken some medication for asthma and had no idea it was a banned drug.[20]

An independent anti-doping tribunal was convened at which Tharanga pleaded guilty, claiming he had taken some herbal remedy to ease discomfort caused by a long-standing shoulder injury.[18] The tribunal accepted that Tharanga "had no intention to enhance his sporting performance or to mask the use of another performance enhancing substance, but that he had failed to satisfy the high levels of personal responsibility implicit upon him as an international cricketer subject to anti-doping rules".[18] The tribunal found Tharanga guilty of breaching the ICC Anti-Doping Code and banned him from all cricket and cricket-related activities for a three-month period (9 May 2011 to 8 August 2011).[18][21][22]

International centuries[edit]

In his third Test match he scored his first Test Century in Shaheed Chandu Stadium, Bogra.[23] Tharanga made his ODI debut against West Indies in 2005. He scored his first ODI century back in 2005 against Bangladesh scoring 105 in R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.[24] His highest ODI score came in 2013 against India where he scored 174 Not out at Sabina Park, Kingston, Jamaica.[25] It's the second highest score by Sri Lankan in ODI after Sanath Jayasuriya's 189. As of 6 May 2017 Tharanga has scored three Test centuries and fourteen ODI centuries.

International awards[edit]

One-Day International Cricket[edit]

Man of the Match Awards[edit]

S No Opponent Venue Date Match Performance Result
1 Bangladesh R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo 2 September 2005 105 (110 balls: 9x4)  Sri Lanka won by 75 runs[26]
2 New Zealand AMI Stadium, Christchurch 3 January 2006 103 (125 balls: 14x4)  New Zealand won by 5 wickets[27]
3 England Lord's, London 17 June 2006 120 (156 balls: 14x4)  Sri Lanka won by 20 runs[28]
4 Bangladesh PCA Stadium, Mohali 7 October 2006 105 (129 balls: 11x4, 1x6)  Sri Lanka won by 37 runs[29]
5 Zimbabwe Sardar Patel Stadium, Ahmedabad 10 October 2006 110 (130 balls: 13x4, 1x6)  Sri Lanka won by 144 runs[30]
6 Bangladesh Shere Bangla Stadium, Dhaka 8 January 2010 1 ct. ; 118* (126 balls: 18x4)  Sri Lanka won by 9 wickets[31]
7 New Zealand Rangiri Dambulla Stadium, Dambulla 13 August 2010 70 (109 balls: 9x4)  Sri Lanka won by 3 wickets[32]
8 Australia SCG, Sydney 5 November 2010 86* (112 balls: 6x4)  Sri Lanka won by 29 runs (D/L)[33]
9 West Indies SSC, Colombo 3 February 2011 101* (143 balls: 7x4)  Sri Lanka won by 8 wickets (D/L)[34]
10 Australia MRIC Stadium, Hambantota 16 August 2011 111 (139 balls: 12x4)  Sri Lanka won by 78 runs[35]
11 India Sabina Park, Kingston 2 July 2013 174* (159 balls: 19x4, 3x6) ; 1 ct.  Sri Lanka won by 161 runs[36]


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  2. ^ "England v Sri Lanka, 2006". ESPNcricinfo. 
  3. ^ "Tharanga hundred can't stop defeat". ESPNcricinfo. 
  4. ^ "Tharanga and Dilshan crush England". ESPNcricinfo. 
  5. ^ "Tharanga's best, India's worst, and a first in ODIs". ESPNcricinfo. 
  6. ^ "Tharanga called in as replacement for Sangakkara". Cricbuzz. 3 July 2015. 
  7. ^ "Tharanga replaces Sangakkara for third Test". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 1 November 2016. 
  8. ^ "The longest gaps between Test centuries by a player (since World War 2)". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 1 November 2016. 
  9. ^ "Mathews sidelined by 'multiple leg injuries'". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 25 October 2016. 
  10. ^ "Tharanga named SL captain for tri-series". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 5 November 2016. 
  11. ^ "Cricket Records | Records | Sri Lanka | One-Day Internationals | List of captains | ESPN Cricinfo". Cricinfo. Retrieved 2017-02-23. 
  12. ^ "Tharanga to lead Sri Lanka in ODIs against South Africa". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 25 January 2017. 
  13. ^ "Amla, de Kock tons lead SA to 5-0 and No. 1". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 10 February 2017. 
  14. ^ "Lasith Malinga picked for T20Is in Australia". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 9 February 2017. 
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  17. ^ "Rejigged Sri Lanka bat in must-win clash". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 28 March 2017. 
  18. ^ a b c d "Upul Tharanga found guilty of breaching ICC Anti-Doping Code". International Cricket Council. 24 June 2011. 
  19. ^ Pathirana, Saroj (8 June 2011). "Sri Lanka confirm Upul Tharanga dope test positive". BBC Sport. 
  20. ^ "Sri Lanka ministry confirms Tharanga failed dope test". 
  21. ^ "Sri Lanka's Upul Tharanga banned for three months for doping violation". The Guardian. 24 June 2011. 
  22. ^ "Sri Lanka opener Tharanga banned for three months after positive drug test". Daily Mail. 24 June 2011. 
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  30. ^ "2006 ICC Champions Trophy – Scorecard of the 3rd qualifying Match". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 3 July 2013. 
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  35. ^ "Australian cricket team in Sri Lanka in 2011 – Scorecard of the 3rd Match". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 3 July 2013. 
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