|Full name||Pramod Bhanuka Bandara Rajapaksa ESPN|
|Nickname||PBB Rajapaksa ESPN|
|Physical Stats & More|
|Height (approx.)||in centimeters- 175 cm
in meters- 1.75 m
in feet & inches- 5’ 9”
|International Debut||ODI- 18 July 2021 against India at R. Premadasa International Cricket Stadium, Sri Lanka
T20- 5 October 2019 against Pakistan at Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore
|Jersey Number||#54 (Sri Lanka)
#54 (IPL, Punjab Kings)
|Domestic/State Team||• Ruhuna (Sri Lankan Inter-Provincial Tournament)
• Uva Next (Sri Lanka Premier League)
• Sri Lanka A
• Kandy Warriors (Lanka Premier League (LPL))
• Barisal Blazers (2010 National Cricket League Twenty20)
• Dambulla (SLC Super Provincial One Day Tournament)
• Sri Lanka Board Presidents XI
• Deccan Gladiators (Abu Dhabi T10 League)
• Comilla Victorians (Bangladesh Premier League)
• Galle Gladiators (Lanka Premier League)
• The Chennai Braves (Abu Dhabi T10 League)
• Punjab Kings (Indian Premier League (IPL))
|Batting Style||Left hand Bat|
|Bowling Style||Right arm Medium|
|Awards||• Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year (2010)
• Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year (2011)
• Young emerging U-19 Player at the CEAT Sri Lanka Cricket Awards (2011)
|Date of Birth||24 October 1991 (Thursday)|
|Age (as of 2021)||30 Years|
|Birthplace||Colombo, Sri Lanka|
|Hometown||Colombo, Sri Lanka|
|School||Royal College, Colombo|
|Controversy||After being left out for the West Indies tour and England tour in 2021, in an interview, Bhanuka criticized Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) authorities for their inconsistent policies and the mistreatment he received due to his under-par fitness level. In the interview, he also insisted that the on-field performances of players should be prioritized instead of the fitness levels of players while forming squads. The Morning In reciprocation to Bhanuka's outburst, Sri Lanka cricket head coach Mickey Arthur criticized Rajapaksa and called him a "comfort zone cricketer," claiming that Bhanuka had failed to comply with the skinfold tests required to qualify to play in international cricket matches. The Island Online Arthur also revealed that Bhanuka was instructed to follow a special diet, but he didn't stick to it because of his apparent love for chocolates. Sportskeeda Thereafter, Bhanuka Rajapaksa was handed a one-year ban and fined $5,000 from all forms of cricket by the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) for breach of contract and for not gaining required permission from SLC to give media interviews. CricTracker|
|Relationships & More|
|Marriage Date||5 April 2021
Note: Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Sandrine Pereira got married in a Catholic wedding ceremony in a church.
|Other Relatives||Mahinda Rajapaksa (Prime Minister of Sri Lanka)
|Cricketer||Adam Gilchrist, Virat Kohli|
Some Lesser Known Facts About Bhanuka Rajapaksa
- Bhanuka Rajapaksa is a professional Sri Lankan cricketer, who plays limited over internationals for the Sri Lanka national cricket team.
- In childhood, Rajapaksa was a proficient swimmer, but he had to quit the water sport due to a life-threatening illness. Recalling how he started playing cricket, he said,
I was down with meningitis, a brain effecting disease and doctors advised me not to dive. So I took up to cricket.”
- Bhanuka began playing cricket in his college days representing the Royal College, Colombo.
- After playing for his college team, Bhanuka made his T20 and List A debut in 2009 representing the Schools Invitation XI and Sinhalese Sports Club respectively, and later, he advanced into Sri Lanka’s U-19 team.
- During the 2009 Sri Lanka Under-19s tour of Australia, he ended up as the leading run-scorer of the series amassing 154 runs in 111 balls in the second ODI. ESPN
- Rajapaksa was selected for the 2010 Under-19 Cricket World Cup in New Zealand. A key batsman in the tournament, he emerged as the leading run-scorer for Sri Lanka in the tournament with 253 runs.
- Since he made his first-class debut for the Sinhalese Sports Club in 2011, Bhanuka has been a consistent performer in Sri Lanka’s domestic circuit.
- In 2011, he became the fourth individual to become the Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year twice. Sunday Observer
- In August 2018, he was named to Kandy’s squad for the 2018 SLC T20 League. In the tournament, Colombo and Kandy finished as a tie in the third match, therefore going to a Super Over to determine the winner. When the match again tied after the Super Over, Colombo was declared the eventual winner, as the team had scored the most boundaries.
- From May 2018 to June 2018, he represented Galle’s squad in the 2018 Super Provincial One Day Tournament. Galle won the tournament, after beating Colombo by 75 runs in the final.
- He represented Dambulla’s squad for the 2019 Super Provincial One Day Tournament.
- Bhanuka is related to Mahinda Rajapaksa, former President of Sri Lanka, who started serving as the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka in 2019. Although Mahinda Rajapaksa’s reference could have helped Bhanuka to break into the national team, Bhanuka had to wait for ten years after his domestic debut in 2009 to represent Sri Lanka. While speaking of his struggles, the left-hander in an interview said,
About the challenges, you name it, I’ve been through everything through the period of 9-10 years. It took me almost 10 years to get into the side. It was really difficult. For nine years it was not easy. Mentally, I was very low. Sometimes, I was very down. I wouldn’t say depressed but there were moments when I didn’t want to continue playing cricket.”
- In 2019, he made his debut for Sri Lanka with a 3-match T20I series in Pakistan, primarily to fill the absence of prime players who had refused to travel to Pakistan citing security issues. The series was won by Sri Lanka, and Bhanuka struck stardom with his big-hitting prowess in the series becoming “Player of the match” in the second T20I in which he scored 77 runs off 48 balls.
- In the 2020 Lanka Premier League (LPL), he was a part of the team Galle Gladiators.
- For the 2021 SLC Invitational T20 League, he represented the SLC Greys team, which won the tournament beating SLC Reds by 42 runs.
- In July 2021, Bhanuka made his ODI debut after he was named in Sri Lanka’s squad when the Indian cricket team toured Sri Lanka to play three One Day International (ODI) and three Twenty20 International (T20I) matches. While India won the ODI series, Sri Lanka won a T20I series; it was the first time that Sri Lanka had won a T20I series against India.
- In September 2021, Rajapaksa was named to Sri Lanka’s squad for the 2021 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.
- In the 2021 Lanka Premier League, held between 5 to 23 December, he played for the team Galle Gladiators, which was defeated by Jaffna Kings by a margin of 23 runs in the final.
- Bhanuka Rajapaksa was signed by the Punjab Kings franchise cricket team for Rs 50 lakhs at the IPL 2022 mega-auction. Sportskeeda
- On 27 March 2022, he made his IPL debut in a match against Royal Challengers Bangalore at Dr DY Patil Sports Academy, Navi Mumbai.
- Other sports that he is fond of include squash and swimming.
- At the age of 30, Rajapaksa announced his international retirement via a letter written to the SLC. He said that the decision to resign was taken after considering his family obligations. The letter read,
I have very carefully considered my position as a player, husband and am taking this decision looking forward to fatherhood and associated familial obligations.”
However, on 13 January 2022, he withdrew his retirement letter at the request of the sports minister.
- He is an avid animal lover and has many dogs which include, Alvin, Brandie, Mocha, Riley, Theodore, and Abbie.
- Referring to Virat Kohli as the Cristiano Ronaldo of cricket, Bhanuka Rajapaksa revealed that he was keen to obtain fitness guidance from him in an interview.
- In 2022, he became the ambassador of Chariot Sri Lanka, a renowned restaurant chain in the Sri Lankan food industry, for the then-upcoming IPL.
- He has two cars, Toyota Land Cruiser and Subaru STI.
- In an interview, while talking about his fitness, he said,
The fitness journey has been quite tricky. It’s not my fitness out on the field. It’s just my skinfolds. I’ve been on the chubby side from my school days, when I got a reputation for having sweets.”
- After Mickey Arthur lashed out at Bhanuka due to his under-par fitness level, Bhanuka hired the personal trainer Nigel Aaron.
- In a 2014 Facebook post, Bhanuka Rajapaksa revealed that he had quit drinking.