Umagiliye Durage Upul Chandana Profile
A fantastic leg break bowler and explosive batsman, Upul Chandana made his ODI debut aged only 21 in 1994. He did not feature in the Test team however and had to wait five years to be included to the Test team. But when he finally made it to the team, he made his debut memorable by picking an impressive 6/179 in 47.5 overs.
He captained the Sri Lanka A team in 2004 in an unofficial series against Kenya and this is where his cricketing prowess came to the fore. He topped both, the batting and the bowling charts during this series and on the basis of this, was drafted back to the Test team. Apart from just his bowling and batting, he was an impressive fielder as well. With his lightning quick reflexes, he was capable of effecting match-turning run-outs and going airborne to hold on to catches. He settled down into a regular role in the team after his performances at Bridgetown where he played a match-winning innings. All the while, his bowling continued to improve and his deliveries began to attain more zip. He tightened his line and length as well and made it harder for the batsmen to knock him for runs. This made him a very valuable member of the Lankan squad.
In 2004, Muralidaran’s withdrawal from the Australia series put added pressure on Chandana but he responded to this. By the end of the Asia Cup in 2004, he was became an important wicket-taker for Sri Lanka. Unfortunately, his form began to fall over and he was dropped as a result of this in 2005. He made another appearance in the team in 2007 and then announced his retirement. Following this, Chandana decided to join the rebel league in India and played for Kolkata. This got him a ban from the Sri Lankan board and he was not allowed to play domestic cricket. The ban was lifted in 2008 which meant that Chandana was free to play in the domestic circuit again.