Matheesha Pathirana with MS Dhoni during the IPL 2023© Twitter
One of the rising stars of Sri Lankan cricket, Matheesha Pathirana has been in fine form and is the joint-highest wicket-taker in the ongoing Lanka Premier League (LPL) 2023 with his sublime sling action. The young pacer recently revealed that he has learned to perform well in T20 cricket from former Indian captain MS Dhoni. Colombo Strikers’ Pathirana played under the captaincy of Dhoni in the Indian league and termed the experience as a big learning point for him.
“As a youngster, if someone gives you confidence like that, it boosts your career. A player of that level showed faith in me and I believed I can do anything in that moment. Not only me, Dhoni gave confidence to all of us. There were 4-5 top players who were injured and he showed his trust in youngsters which was great,” commented Pathirana.
He added, “I learned a lot from Dhoni. The first thing is humbleness and that’s why he is very successful. He is 42 and still the fittest cricketer which is really inspiring. When I went there, I was a kid and no one knew me and they trained and taught me several things. Now, I know how to perform in any T20 game and how to balance my four overs in a match. Dhoni told me if I keep my body away from injury then I can achieve a lot for the team and the country.”
The bowler is also inspired by another superstar from the world of sports, Cristiano Ronaldo. He revealed, “We all know Cristiano Ronaldo and I am a fan of the footballer. So, I got inspired by his new celebration and now I am doing it as well.
Pathirana has taken 12 wickets in the LPL 2023 and revealed the moment he met Lasith Malinga, who is one of his idols. He stated, “I am constantly trying to improve my action and bowling. Malinga was very happy when he met me because he saw someone more like him.”
Colombo Strikers is led by Niroshan Dickwella, while the other participating teams in LPL are Dambulla Aura captained by Kusal Mendis, Galle Titans led by Dasun Shanaka, B-Love Kandy captained by Wanindu Hasaranga, and defending champions Jaffna Kings led by veteran Sri Lankan allrounder Thisara Perera.
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