Congenige Randhi Dilhara Fernando Profile
When he first arrived on the international stage, he was a tearaway fast bowler with an ability to consistently clock 90 miles an hour. Since then he has dropped slightly in pace but has added more variations in his bowling and has been one of Sri Lanka’s premier bowlers.
Identified by his school coach for his height and build, Fernando caught everyone’s eye with his unsettling pace and quickly became part of Sri Lanka’s Under-19 squads. In the 1997-98 season, he debuted for Sinhalese Sports Club which brought him under the radar of the national selectors. After completing only two years into domestic cricket, he earned a national call-up and made his Test debut against Pakistan in 2000, picking up two wickets in the 1st innings. In only his 2nd Test, he rattled the South Africans with his pace and bounce, bagging six wickets and thereafter made his ODI debut against them in 2001. Later, niggling injuries compounded with inconsistent line and length cost him a place in the side. Struggling to hold on to his place proved difficult even on comeback and after coming through another injury in 2005, he worked on his fitness and earned a place in Sri Lanka’s 2007 World Cup squad.
A bowler capable of swinging the ball both ways at good pace, Fernando has also improved on his reverse swing. He is regarded as one of the best exponents of the slower ball because of the unique split finger action with which he delivers the ball and becomes very difficult to pick as his delivery action remains the same. He has, though, struggled with no balls and is someone who can either win or lose you a match on his day.
In 2008, Fernando was signed by the IPL franchise Mumbai Indians ahead of the inaugural edition of the Twenty20 competition. After representing the franchise for 4 years, the speedster became a part of Uva Next, winners of the first-ever Sri Lanka Premier League. He was also included in the squad for that year’s Champions League T20.