Srimantha Wijeyeratne is quickly becoming a much needed rock of solidity to Canada’s middle order batting. Born 3 June 1989 in Colombo Sri Lanka, Wijeyeratne made his List A cricket debut in the 2015 ICC World Cricket League Division Two tournament for Canada against the Netherlands on 17 January 2015.
Wijeyeratne first represented Canada as a wicket-keeper batsman, charged with opening the batting. Within recent times however, he has relinquished the opening spot and has moved down the order often appearing as Canada’s number four batsman.
Described as an aggressive cricketer who bats with a lot of flamboyance, Wijeyeratne made his List A debut for Canada during the 2015 ICC World Cricket League Division Two Tournament in Holland. He scored a relatively slow 63 ball 35 on debut an innings which only included 2 fours and a solitary six. Wijeyeratne had scores of 20*, 0, 16, 52 and 6 in the five additional innings he batted.
In January 2018, Wijeyeratne was named in Canada’s squad for the 2018 ICC World Cricket League Division Two Tournament in Namibia. Wijeyeratne was somewhat strangely not selected for any of Canada’s three opening matches at the Tournament and only made his first appearance in the fourth. Sent in as an opener he scored just 8 in Canada’s losing total of 251/8 which was agonizingly just 17 runs short of the 268 they had been set by Namibia for victory.
In his very next match, Wijeyeratne embarrassed Canada’s Tournament selectors by scoring an impressive 103 not our off of 152 balls with 8 fours against Nepal. Wijeyeratne scored just 28 in Canada’s final appearance of the 2018 ICC World Cricket League Division Tournament, the 3rd Place Playoff against hosts Namibia. Canada won comfortably by 49 runs.
On 3 June 2018, Wijeyeratne was selected to play for the Vancouver Knights in the players’ draft for the inaugural edition of the Global T20 Canada tournament. Wijeyeratne was however one of the many Canadian players who were drafted for the Tournament only to be totally denied any actual playing time.
In September 2018, Wijeyeratne was named in Canada’s squad for the 2018–19 ICC World Twenty20 Americas Qualifier tournament. He had a very subdued Tournament with scores of 20*, 3 and 19 in the three innings he batted.
In October 2018, Wijeyeratne was named in Canada’s squad for the 2018–19 Regional Super50 tournament in the West Indies. He started impressively scoring a 66 ball 57 in Canada’s opening fixture against the West Indies B. Having scored just 2 in Canada’s next match against the Windward Islands he was then apparently discarded by the Tour Selectors. Wijeyeratne’s only other appearance in the Tournament was for Canada’s encore encounter against the Windwards during which he scored 35 as part of Canada’s winning total of 206/9.
In April 2019, he was named in Canada’s squad for the 2019 ICC World Cricket League Division Two tournament in Namibia. By his usually solid standards Wijeyeratne had a very disappointing tournament with scores of 44, 3 and 2 the three innings he played.
Wijeyeratne was however back to his consistent best during Canada’s appearances in the recently concluded 2019 Malaysia hosted Cricket World Cup Challenge League A tournament. Wijeyeratne scored 242 runs from four completed innings in the Tournament to end with an average of 60.50. His aggregate was marginally short and second only to that of the Canadian captain Navneet Dhaliwal, who complied 250 runs from three innings batted. Wijeyeratne’s aggregate included one century (112) and a fifty (84). Just as importantly his runs were compiled at an impressive strike rate of 193,86
Srimantha Wijeyeratne’s consistent performance of late have now surely cemented not only his place in Canada’s batting middle order, but also his ever growing reputation as Team Canada’s Mr Solidity.