Matheesha Pathirana: CSK’s “Baby Malinga”

Published:May 15, 202418:03
Matheesha Pathirana: CSK’s “Baby Malinga”

Matheesha Pathirana is one of the most exciting young bowlers to have emerged from Sri Lanka in recent years. Known for his spectacular bowling in the death overs, Matheesha Pathirana has rightfully earned the nickname of “Baby Malinga”. In this post, we will find out more about Matheesha Pathirana. Let’s get started.

Matheesha Pathirana: Interesting Things To Know About The Sri Lankan Speedster

Matheesha Pathirana is just 21 years old

The fiery pacer was born on 18 December 2002 and recently attained the legal drinking age. This basically means that he wasn’t able to partake in the champagne celebrations of the Chennai Super Kings winning IPL 2023.

Matheesha Pathirana is known as Baby Malinga

Matheesha Pathirana has been called Baby Malinga because of his similar bowling action to Sri Lankan legend Lasith Malinga. Just like Malingam, Matheesha Pathirana is known for his toe-crushing yorkers that stymie the run rate of opponents in the death overs.

Matheesha Pathirana started his professional cricket career with T20 cricket

Matheesha Pathirana had a stellar junior career and made the SLC Greys’ squad for the 2021 SLC Invitational T20 League. After his selection, Matheesha Pathirana played his first professional T20 match on 22 August 2021, for SLC Greys in the 2021 SLC Invitational T20 League. 

Matheesha Pathirana was a critical member of the Sri Lankan Under-19 squad

Matheesha Pathirana played for the Sri Lankan Under-19 team in the 2020 Under-19 Cricket World Cup. The Sri Lankan cricket board expressed their gratitude towards the Chennai Super Kings for Matheesha Pathirana’s bowling improvement. Naveed Nawaz, Sri Lanka’s assistant coach for the 2023 Cricket World Cup spoke about how playing for CSK helped Matheesha Pathirana fine tune his game. He said:

“IPL opportunities have helped him mature his game. At 18-19, he got to play under a captain like MS Dhoni. I am sure that Matheesha would have learnt a lot from him about handling pressure, and being in the centre during big CSK games. It was a good experience.”

Matheesha Pathirana has been critical to Chennai Super Kings’ success

Even though Matheesha Pathirana was a young buck during IPL 2023, he performed very well. He picked up 19 wickets during the tournament and became the youngest foreign player to hoist the IPL trophy in the process.

Matheesha Pathirana was signed to replace Adam Milne for the Chennai Super Kings

The Chennai Super Kings lost their pace spearhead Adam Milne in April 2022 and signed Matheesha Pathirana as his replacement. Matheesha Pathirana’s first IPL game was against the Gujarat Titans. Matheesha Pathirana had a dream start to his IPL career as he dismissed star Indian batsman Shubman Gill with his first delivery. He became the ninth player in IPL history to get a wicket with the first ball of his career.

Matheesha Pathirana is a star of the Lanka Premier League as well

After shining brightly in the Indian Premier League, Matheesha Pathirana continued playing professional T20 cricket in Sri Lanka. He joined the Kandy Falcons as their pace spearhead and performed well in the tournament.

Matheesha Pathirana missed out on playing against Australia because of an injury

After a string of stellar performances, the Sri Lankan national team selectors put Matheesa Pathirana on the T20I squad against Australia. Unfortunately, the young pacer had to skip the tournament because of an injury. He eventually made his T20I debut against Afghanistan during the 2022 Asia Cup on 27 August 2022.

Matheesha Pathirana made it to Sri Lanka’s ODI squad as well

As Matheesha Pathirana’s performances continued to be stellar, the Sri Lankan selectors put him in the ODI team for the New Zealand series as well. However, Matheesha Pathirana had to wait for a few more months before playing his first ever ODI game. He got that chance against Afghanistan on 2 June 2023, against Afghanistan. He had an eventful debut and even claimed his first ever wicket during the match.

Matheesha Pathirana was selected to Sri Lanka’s 2023 World Cup Squad

In June 2023, Matheesha Pathirana earned the honours of being named to the Sri Lanka squad for the 2023 Cricket World Cup in India. He started well, picking two wickets in two games. However, he picked up an unfortunate injury and was replaced by Angelo Matthews in the squad.

Matheesha Pathirana has expressed loyalty towards the Chennai Super Kings

In a money driven world of professional cricket, Matheesha Pathirana stood out because of his loyalty to the Chennai Super Kings. There were rumours about other IPL teams being interested in Matheesha Pathirana but he dispelled all rumours with an Instagram story that read: “No money can buy loyalty”. This story was published just a few days after the Chennai Super Kings confirmed their retention of the young pacer for IPL 2024. This came on the heels of a commendable IPL 2023 campaign where the young pacer scalped 19 wickets in 12 matches.

Matheesha Pathirana showed his support for Chennai during the 2023 floods

During the 2023 Chennai floods, Matheesha Pathirana shared a heartwarming post to show his support and solidarity with the people suffering in Chennai. He took to X (formerly Twitter) to share this post:

“Stay safe, my Chennai! The storm may be fierce, but our resilience is stronger. Better days are just around the corner. Take care, stay indoors, and look out for one another.”

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