An opening batsman of rare power, Dilshan Munaweera earned a call-up to the national side for the 2012 World Twenty20 after impressing at the inaugural SLPL, in which he was the top scorer. Brutal on anything short and almost as severe when bowlers overpitch, Munaweera is a firm convert of the Sanath Jayasuriya school of opening – hit it hard, long and over the infield. His 44 from 23 balls to clinch the SLPL title for the Uva Next franchise included five sixes and two fours.
A product of Nalanda College and the son of a former first-class cricketer, Munaweera began playing cricket at age 12 and rose through the age grades to represent Sri Lanka at U-19 level, before moving on to U-23 cricket at Bloomfield Cricket Club. He had been in and out of the Sri Lanka A team prior to national selection, but had marked himself out as a future talent nonetheless, first as a teenager when he struck six consecutive sixes in the Ananda-Nalanda school cricket match, and later by winning a single-wicket tournament organised by SLC.
Munaweera was dropped from Sri Lanka’s T20 side in early 2013, after a string of modest scores, and didn’t play a part in the 2014 World T20 victory. He featured in several overseas domestic T20 tournaments over the following years however, the Caribbean Premier League and Bangladesh Premier League among them. His success at those events, and an improving record in Sri Lanka’s domestic tournaments, paved the way for his re-selection to the Sri Lanka squad – for a T20 tour to Australia in February 2017.
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