Monday, July 15, 2024

Jayasuriya comparison inspires me, says Kusal

Someone who scored 772 runs in 30 youth one-day internationals does not often attract any special attention from coaches. But Kusal Janith Perera is an exception. One of the reasons is that he resembles the marauding Sanath Jayasuriya in his batting style. Jayasuriya is a legend not only in Sri Lanka but in world cricket also and the country has long been struggling to find an able replacement for him since his retirement two years ago. With Muttiah Muralitharan already retired and Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara and Tillakaratne Dilshan at the twilight of their careers, Sri Lanka are now preparing to enter a transitional period sooner rather than later. The Island nation was, therefore, desperate to unveil some new batting talent and Kusal Perera fits the bill perfectly. Spotted at a young age, he played for every age-group team before being elevated to the senior side in the recent tour of Australia. Kusal, who went to Australia as a replacement of Sangakkara, did not have enough opportunities to show his worth in his first visit, but he did not take too long either. He recently scored a triple century in domestic first-class cricket, which is the first triple ton in Sri Lanka’s 75-year history of local cricket. The 22-year-old prodigious batsman gave an exclusive interview to New Age in Kandy this week. Here are the excerpts:
Q: How did you begin your career as a cricketer?
Kusal Perera: I think it all began when I was 10 or 11 years old. I was attracted to the game in my school academy and soon took the attention of my coaches. They took me in the Under-13 squad and since then it was a smooth journey. I was selected for a tour of Malaysia with the Under-14 squad, did reasonably well and was promoted to the Under-19 team. I played for the Sri Lanka Under-19 team in the 2008 World Cup
Q: You are rated very highly as an attacking batsman. Did you develop this habit from a very young age?
KP: Yes, I am an attacking batsman since my childhood. I like to attack the bowler and can see the ball early. I feel that my hand-eye coordination is also good. I loved it always (to attack) and kept trying it in the practice.
Q: When did people start to call you the new Jayasuriya?
KP: In domestic level, during the first-class matches. Perhaps they saw me similar to Jayasuriya, that’s why may be. I enjoyed this as well. It also encouraged me to do better and better.
Q: When did you first have the opportunity to meet him?
KP: I met him a couple of times before I actually got a chance to play alongside him while I toured with him in the Champions League Twenty20 tournament and batted with him on a couple of occasions. He knew I had quite a few little things similar to him. So he was helpful to me.
Q: What was his first advice?
KP: At first, he did not talk to me personally about it. But when we went to play together he asked me to play my natural game and not change my style. I feel this is the right kind of advice for me.
Q: Jayasuriya is hailed as one of the greats in the game. How does it feel when people compare you with him?
KP: I like the way he plays, but I like to develop my own style. Most of the times when I went out to bat, I think I batted till the end. That’s my goal.
Q: When did you actually start to dream about featuring for the national side?
KP: I was the vice-captain of the (Sri Lanka) ‘A’ team last year. So it is understood that the coaching staff knew my talent. Previously I had a good domestic season as well. I played some consistent cricket, naturally I was expecting a call.
Q: When you got the call-up in the recent tour of Australia as a replacement of Kumar Sangakkara, did it come as a surprise?
KP: It’s a little bit of a surprise, yes. But during that time domestic cricket was going on and I scored some runs, my confidence level was high. So when I went there I did not have any pressure.
Q: You just scored a triple century in domestic cricket. When did you realise it was a record?
KP: I knew no one else scored a triple century in domestic level. So when I came close to it, I was trying to keep my calm. I am happy that I finally made it.
Q: There are a few other attacking batsmen in the world like Virender Sehwag and Chris Gayle. Do you follow their game?
KP: Of course I do and I want to see myself in the same league. I know it can’t happen overnight. I have to practice a lot and keep on trying. I am confident I will achieve my goal.

-With New Age input

Related News

Gautam Gambhir named India head coach

Sports Desk : Star of India’s title-winning campaign in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2011, former opener Gautam Gambhir has been named as the new head coach of the India men’s cricket team. He will take over from Rahul Dravid after a successful ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 campaign. The 42-year-old’s most ... Read more

T20 World Cup: India end 11-year-drought for ICC crown after Barbados thriller

Sports Desk : India came back from behind to beat South Africa by seven runs in the final and become the unbeaten champions of the T20 World Cup 2024 at Kensington Oval in Barbados on Saturday. It was the first time a team won the tournament without losing a single game. It was South ... Read more

ICC punishes Tanzim Sakib for ‘inappropriate physical contact’ against Nepal captain in T20 World Cup

Sports Desk : Bangladesh seamer Tanzim Hasan Sakib has been fined 15 percent of his match fee for his code of conduct violation on Sunday, the International Cricket Council (ICC) stated in a press release. The incident took place in the third over of the Nepal chase, where amidst a spirited spell Tanzim had ... Read more

Kane Williamson steps down as captain

Sports Desk : Kane Williamson has stepped down as the skipper of the New Zealand white-ball teams and has also declined a central contract from the board for the 2024-25 season following the country’s devastating performance in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 in the USA. “Helping push the team forward across the ... Read more

Bangladesh beat Sri Lanka by 2 wickets in T20 World Cup thriller

Sports Desk : Towhid Hridoy’s aggression and Litton Das’ calmness backed up the heroic effort from the Bangladesh bowlers and handed Sri Lanka a two-wicket defeat in a tense T20 World Cup game at the Grand Prairie Cricket Stadium in Dallas. With the win over Sri Lanka, Bangladesh now are a better-placed team of ... Read more

India crush Bangladesh in final warm-up

Sports Desk : Bangladesh suffered a crushing 60-run defeat to India in their final official T20 World Cup warm-up match at the Nassau County Cricket Stadium in New York on Saturday. Mahmudullah was the only Bangladesh batter who looked comfortable on a difficult wicket and a big ground. While the others huffed and puffed, ... Read more

Saikat to officiate in T20 World Cup opener

Sports Desk : Sharfuddoula Ibne Shahid Saikat will become the first Bangladeshi umpire to officiate at an ICC Men’s T20 World Cup when he stands in the tournament opener between USA and Canada, said an ICC press release on Wednesday. Saikat, 47, took charge of five matches at last year’s ICC Men’s Cricket World ... Read more

BCB announce World Cup squad with Taskin

Sports Desk : Taskin Ahmed, after concerns with a rib injury, has been included in the Bangladesh national team’s 15-man squad for the forthcoming T20 World Cup in West Indies and USA as the Bangladesh Cricket Board announced on Tuesday. This is also the squad for Bangladesh’s three-match T20I series against USA later this ... Read more

Tigers to tour West Indies in November

Sports Desk : The Bangladesh national cricket team is scheduled to tour the West Indies in November to feature in two Tests, three one-day internationals, and as many T20Is, revealed the Windies Cricket Board in a press release on Saturday. The first Test will begin on November 22 in Antiga, while the second and ... Read more

ICC bans Nasir for two years

Sports Desk : Bangladesh all-rounder Nasir Hossain has been for two years by the International Cricket Council after he accepted three charges of breaching the Emirates Cricket Board’s Anti-Corruption Code. The charges against Nasir were in relation to the 2021 Abu Dhabi T10 League. Six months of his two-year ban is suspended, meaning the ... Read more

New Zealand win 3rd T20I to level series 1-1 with Bangladesh

Sports Desk : New Zealand beat Bangladesh by 17 runs (DLS method) in the third and final T20I of the three-match series against Bangladesh at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui on Sunday. The win made sure the hosts level the series 1-1 after losing the first match, and the second contest being called ... Read more

New Zealand-Bangladesh second T20I called off due to persistent rain

Sports Desk : The second T20I between New Zealand and Bangladesh of the three-match series at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui has been called off due to persistent rain. New Zealand were 72-2 after 11 overs when the umpires decided the rain was too heavy to continue the proceedings. Shoriful Islam was impressive ... Read more

Shorna seals Tigresses’ historic first-ever T20I win against South Africa

Sports Desk : All-rounder Shorna Akter stole the show in Benoni as she picked up five wickets to hand Bangladesh women’s national team their first-ever win on South African soil as they beat the Proteas by 13 runs in the first Twenty20 International of the three-match series on Sunday. This is Bangladesh’s first win ... Read more

Bangladesh’s Marufa and Rabeya included in women IPL auction list

Sports Desk : The second edition of the Indian women’s franchise-based Women’s Premier League will take place next year. The auction for the tournament will be held on 9 December this year. Bangladesh cricketers Rabeya Khatun and Marufa Akter are placed in the draft of that auction. The base price of both of them ... Read more

Bangladesh wins historic Test match against New Zealand

Sports Desk : Taijul Islam picked up his second 10-wicket haul in Tests to take Bangladesh to a historic 150-run win over New Zealand on the final day of their first Test in Sylhet on Saturday. This is Bangladesh’s second-ever win over New Zealand and the first at home against them. This is also ... Read more

England brings down the Tigers

Sports Desk : Bangladesh failed to maintain the momentum gained by beating Afghanistan in the opening match as they suffered a massive 137-run defeat against defending champions England in the second match of the ICC World Cup in Dharamsala on Tuesday. After being put into bat first by Bangladesh skipper Shakib Al Hasan, England ... Read more

Emirates shares excitement with cricket lovers

The airline brand named ICC’s Cricket World Cup airline partner Sports Desk : Emirates has announced it is the official airline partner of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023. Kicking off the 13th edition of the tournament, the airline brand shares its excitement for the game with a video featuring Indian batsman, Dinesh ... Read more

South Africa crush Sri Lanka by 102 runs in World Cup opener

Sports Desk : South Africa came with a dominating performance as they defeat Sri Lanka by a big margin of of 102 runs in the fourth game of the World Cup on Saturday. The Proteas bowled the Lankan batters out for 326 runs in 44.5 overs while defending the mammoth total of 428 runs ... Read more

Bangladesh beat Afghanistan by 6 wickets in opener

Sports Desk : A stunning all-round display from Mehidy Hasan Mirza, who notched up a half-century and claimed three wickets, powered Bangladesh to a comprehensive six-wicket win over Afghanistan in their first match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 in Dharamsala on Saturday. After winning the toss and electing to bat, Bangladesh captain ... Read more

Nagad to gift BMW to Bangladesh cricketers if they win World Cup

Sports Desk : If Bangladesh wins the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup in 2023, mobile banking service provider Nagad will gift BMW-branded cars to every cricketer in the team. This was announced by Tanvir A Mishuk, founder and managing director of Nagad, expressing his belief that winning the World Cup would be a significant ... Read more