Teams Played For
Wayamba United, Sri Lanka, Chennai Super Kings, Uthura Yellows, Sri Lanka Board Presidents XI, Khulna Titans, Mumbai Indians, Galle, Colombo, Sri Lanka A
Sri Lanka is well known for producing unorthodox mystery spinners. Akila Dananjaya hails from the same production line of tweakers. He is an off-spinner with mastery in leg-break, googly, carrom ball, doosra, and the conventional off-spin. Without even playing a single first-class game, Mahela Jayawardene booked the mystery spinner for the 2012 World T20, Dananjaya didn’t disappoint in the tournament.
Dananjaya earned prominence when he starred in the Sri Lanka Premier League where the spinner brought Jayawardene in his awe by picking nine wickets at an average of 15.55 and an economy of 6.36. The Lankan was introduced into the international scenes during the 2012 T20 WC, then was picked by Chennai Super Kings for the 2013 edition at USD 20000.
However, a quick success was followed with Dananjaya getting ignored for the next four years. After proving his worth domestically, the Panadura-born returned to the national side in 2017 to play ODIs against Zimbabwe but proved himself against India with the figures of six for 54. The following year, he troubled Bangladesh with 8-44 on his Test debut to become a regular in the Sri Lankan setup.
Dananjaya was later bagged by five-time champions Mumbai Indians and then made his IPL debut in 2018. The season saw the spinner cementing his place before ICC suspected his bowling action and getting a clean-chit in 2019. The Lankan returned to the highest level but wasn’t the same bowler, hence, getting dropped.
The spinner made a comeback in the three-game T20I series against West Indies in 2021, where he became the first bowler to take a hat-trick and be hit for the maximum of six sixes in an over. The national selectors backed Dananjaya’s prowess to pick him a Sri Lanka squad for ODIs against Bangladesh and the subsequent England limited-overs tour.
(As of July 2021)