Best Players of Sri Lanka in IPL History
India’s island neighbors of Sri Lankas are cricketing giants in their own right, having lifted the World Cup as well as the T20 World Cup in the past.
Their success has been down to a number of legendary players, from elegant batsmen to devastating bowlers, some of whom we have been lucky enough to see perform in the Indian Premier League.
Best Players of Sri Lanka in IPL
On that note, here’s a look at the Best Sri Lankan Players in IPL.
5. Muttiah Muralitharan
One of the most legendary cricketers ever to take the field, Muttiah Muralitharan still remains the highest wicket-taker in Test cricket, that too by a long shot. However, his bewitching spin bowling was just as tough to play against in the limited-overs format, which he demonstrated to great effect in the IPL. Murali was brought in to play the IPL by the Chennai Super Kings and helped the men in yellow to claim the title in 2010.
In 2011, he moved on to the Kochi Tuskers Kerala outfit and from there to Royal Challengers Bangalore, where he ultimately announced his retirement. Having cemented his status as one of the best players of Sri Lanka in IPL history with his wicket-taking exploits, Murali continued his association with the tournament by taking on the role of bowling coach at Sunrisers Hyderabad. In all, Murali took 63 wickets in 66 matches, maintaining a superb economy rate of 6.67 and finishing his playing career as one of the Best Players of Sri Lanka in IPL history.
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4. Mahela Jayawardene
Best Sri Lankan Players in IPL: Like Murali, Jayawardene is regarded as one of the true greats of the game, with his wonderfully elegant and wristy strokeplay still fresh in the minds of many. Like Murali, Jayawardene has also continued to be associated with the IPL post-retirement after he was appointed the head coach of the Mumbai Indians. He also happened to be a terrific player as well, having featured for Kings XI Punjab, Kochi Tuskers Kerala, and Delhi Daredevils between 2008 and 2014. He played 80 matches in the IPL, scoring 1802 runs at an average of 28.60 and a strike rate of 123.25, with a sparkling 110* being his best effort.
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3. Kumar Sangakkara
Best Players of Sri Lanka in IPL: Another extremely elegant batsman, Kumar Sangakkara also had the added responsibility of wicket-keeping during his long and illustrious career. He played both roles with great aplomb wherever he played and was well-respected during his time in India as well. He made his foray into the IPL with Kings XI Punjab before moving on to the Deccan Chargers and was even captain of the team in their avatar as the Sunrisers Hyderabad. The stylish left-hander played 71 times in the IPL, amassing 1687 runs at an average of 25.95 and a strike rate of 121.19.
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2. Tillakaratne Dilshan
Best Sri Lankan Players in IPL: A highly successful international cricketer, Tillakaratne Dilshan shone in the limited-overs format, where his aggressive nature and innovative shot-making fetched him plenty of runs. In fact, he’s one of the few players to have a shot named after him, with many commentators still referencing the ‘Dil-Scoop,’ or the paddle straight over his own head, that the Sri Lankan brought to prominence in his playing career.
As a batsman who came into his own after transitioning into the role of an opener, Dilshan terrorised bowlers regularly and was bought by Delhi Daredevils in 2008. He then moved on to Royal Challengers Bangalore to make their batting lineup of AB de Villiers, Virat Kohli, and Chris Gayle even more formidable. Dilshan also added value with his accurate off-spin and athletic fielding, which is why he is regarBest Players of Bangladesh in IPLded as one of the best players of Sri Lanka in IPL cricket. He played 52 times in the IPL, scoring 1153 runs at an average of 26.81 and also took 5 wickets during that time.
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1. Lasith Malinga
Best Players of Sri Lanka in IPL: A man who is already an IPL great and showing little to no signs of slowing down, Lasith Malinga is surely one of the best players of Sri Lanka in IPL history. With his distinctive slinging action and even more distinctive wild mop of highlighted hair, Malinga is a character you kist can’t miss, whether you’re facing him on the field or watching him from the stands or on TV. The multiple-time IPL winner has been instrumental in each of Mumbai Indians’ title wins, picking up a hatful of wickets thanks to his pace, accuracy, and variation.
With the experience of over 120 IPL matches behind him, Malinga is one of the first names on the Mumbai Indians team sheet, a real tribute to him considering that he is an overseas player. What makes his record of 170 wickets in 122 matches at a strike rate of 16.62 and an economy of 7.14 even more impressive is the fact that he took a year off from IPL when he became a bowling coach at Mumbai Indians before returning to the playing field the next year, up to his old wicket-taking tricks again!
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