Dambulla:Sri Lankan Cricket have found a possible successor to Muttiah Muralitharan but they will have to wait for the youngster to blossom. The Lankan board is now closely working with the school that coaches players with unconventional talent!
A 16-year old Taraka has an action similar to Muralitharan and is the newest find in Sri Lanka. He has been picked from thousands of school kids across Sri Lanka and put into Colombo's Ananda College for further training and development.
"He bowls like Murali, though Murali is a legend, can't be compared with him." Lucky Rogers, coach at Ananda College said.
There's also Dishan. Another exceptional talent unearthed by the school system this year. Dishan is a fast bowler-turned spinner whose action is similar to Ajantha Mendis'. Both Dishan and Taraka were amongst the top wicket takers at the school level last season and are now being developed under Lucky Rogers.
The school coaches are always on look out for players with unconventional actions. Once found, Sri Lanka Cricket quickly takes them under their wings. Already there are plans of blooding Dishan and Taraka in the domestic league, next season.
"We do not try and change their actions but try and give them the best coaching," Nishanta Ranatunga, Secretary, Sri Lanka Cricket said.
Sri Lankan skipper Kumar Sangakkara too has a word of praise for the coaching system. "We have a good coaching system and they ensure that the supply line is maintained," Sangakkara said.
With Murali's exit, Sri Lanka Cricket has stepped up its search. Now it's a question of getting that talent pool ready before the current crop exits completely.