|Nickname||Little Slings Matheesha Pathirana|
|Physical Stats & More|
|Height (approx.)||in centimeters- 187 cm
in meters- 1.87 m
in feet & inches- 6’ 2”
|International Debut||ODI- Not yet played
Test- Not yet played
T20- 27 August 2022 against Afghanistan at Dubai (DSC)
|Jersey Number||#99 (Sri Lanka)
#81 and #99 (Bangla Tigers)
#81 (Dessert Vipers)
#81 (Chennai Super Kings)
|Domestic/State Team(s)||• SLC Greys
• Nondescripts Cricket Club
• Chennai Super Kings (Franchise Cricket)
• Kandy Falcons (Franchise Cricket)
• Bangla Tigers (Franchise Cricket)
• Desert Vipers (Franchise Cricket)
|Batting Style||Right-hand Bat|
|Bowling Style||Right-arm Fast Bowling|
|Date of Birth||18 December 2002 (Wednesday)|
|Age (as of 2022)||20 Years|
|Birthplace||Kandy, Sri Lanka|
|Hometown||Harispathuwa, Sri Lanka|
|School(s)||• Ranabima Royal College, Kandy, Sri Lanka
• Trinity College, Kandy
|Religion/Religious Views||Pathirana follows Buddhism. Sunday Observer In an interview, while talking about his family's religious beliefs, Pathirana's father said,
"My son is a devoted Buddhist who attended Daham Pasal in his childhood. As a family we observe Sil and participate in most religious programs held in our village temple. I think religion helps to develop a person’s mind. You may be a Buddhist, Christian, Islamic or anything else but if you follow the teachings of the leader of your religion it will help you to face life’s journey."
|Relationships & More|
|Parents||Father- Anura Pathirana (businessman)
Mother- Name Not Known
Sister(s)- Vishuka Pathirana (elder), Tharindi Pathirana (elder)
Some Lesser Known Facts About Matheesha Pathirana
- Matheesha Pathirana is a Sri Lankan cricketer, who plays for Sri Lanka’s national cricket team primarily as a bowler. He is a death-over specialist.
- He grew up in a middle-class family.
- All his family members have an interest in music. Matheesha’s father used to play the guitar for a music band in his youth. His mother was associated with the ‘Salalihiniyo’ band as a rhythm guitarist. His sister Vishuka is an accomplished piano player, and his sister Tharindi is a guitarist. Matheesha is also good at playing the piano and singing.
- Pathirana started playing cricket at home as a toddler. In an interview, his father revealed that Matheesha eagerly waited for his father to return home from work so that he could play cricket with him. His father said,
He regularly waited for me to come home after work to play. He used to give me a bat or a ball and ask me to play with him and I was only too happy to play with him.”
- While studying at Ranabima Royal College school, Matheesha started playing cricket for the school’s cricket team. Initially, he played for the team, both as a batter and bowler, and later, focused on improving his bowling.
- Inclined towards music from a young age, Matheesha appeared in music examinations up to class six.
- Meanwhile, he also got involved in baseball which apparently helped him to develop his bowling action.
- When his cricket coach noticed potential in him, he asked Matheesha’s father to enroll him at a cricket academy.
- While he was playing for his school’s cricket team, he got an opportunity to represent the Kandy district school team at the district level and grabbed the attention of upcountry cricket fans.
- He then joined the Kettarama fast bowling academy, where he sharpened his bowling skills under the guidance of Chamila Gamage and a few other cricket coaches. At the academy, he came to the notice of Chaminda Vaas, a Sri Lankan fast-bowling coach, who impressed with his performance, asked his father to let him join Colombo school to enhance his bowling. His father, however, was not happy sending Matheesha to Colombo, away from his family, and declined the offer.
- Matheesha made several attempts to take admission to St. Anthony’s College, Katugastota. However, he remained unsuccessful.
- At that time, Trinity College, Kandy, invited Pathirana to join their school. He joined the school after appearing for GCE OL. At the school, he played for the school’s Under 17 cricket team.
- While he was still in school, he represented the Sri Lanka under-19 cricket team at the international level.
- Although he was included in various domestic teams and also started playing for Sri Lanka’s national cricket team, Matheesha kept representing his school (Trinity College) at various school-level cricket tournaments for a long time.
- In 2020, Matheesha represented Sri Lanka in the 2020 Under-19 Cricket World Cup.
- On 19 January 2020, while playing a match for Sri Lanka against India at Mangaung Oval, Bloemfontein, South Africa, Pathirana made an astonishing delivery to Yashasvi Jaiswal at 175kph (108 mph) which went for a wide in the fourth over of the Indian innings. The ball was believed to be the fastest recorded ball ever bowled in international cricket – across all levels, surpassing Pakistan’s speed gun Shoaib Akhtar’s record of fastest delivery of 161.3kph (100mph) which he registered during an ODI against England during the 2003 World Cup. However, later, it was said that it was not a 175kph ball delivery and it was merely because of a technical glitch. India won the match by 90 overs.
- Matheesha was a part of the SLC Greys’ squad for the 2021 SLC Invitational T20 League in August 2021.
- He played his first T20 domestic match for SLC Greys in the 2021 SLC Invitational T20 League.
- Pathirana has also played several matches for Nondescripts Cricket Club.
- In May 2022, Matheesha was included in the Sri Lankan squad for Sri Lanka’s Twenty20 series against Australia. However, he could not play the series as he suffered an injury.
- In August 2022, Matheesha was named in Sri Lanka’s T20I squad for the 2022 Asia Cup. On 27 August 2022, he made his T20 International debut for Sri Lanka against Afghanistan at Dubai (DSC). In March 2023, Matheesha Pathirana was named to Sri Lanka’s T20 International squad for its T20I series against New Zealand.
- In March 2023, Matheesha Pathirana was included in Sri Lanka’s One Day International squad for its ODI series against New Zealand.
- He played for Kandy Warriors (now Falcons) at the third edition of the Lanka Premier League in 2022.
- He has also played for Bangla Tigers in seasons 2021 and 2022 of the T10 League or Abu Dhabi T10.
- Matheesha represented Desert Vipers in the first edition of DP World ILT20. He took three wickets (in 4 innings) after delivering 90 balls (with 0 Maiden overs), attaining a strike rate of 30 and an average of 50.66.
- In April 2022, Matheesha Pathirana was picked up by Chennai Super Kings for the 2022 Indian Premier League for Rs. 20 lakhs. He came as a replacement for the New Zealand cricketer Adam Milne.
- On 15 May 2022, Matheesha played his first IPL match for Chennai Super Kings against Gujarat Titans. He bowled in the match in the eighth over and took the wicket of Shubman Gill in his very first delivery and became the first Sri Lankan player and ninth player in the world to achieve the feat in Indian Premier League. He dismissed Hardik Pandya in the second over of the match by deceiving him with a slower ball. He bowled 3.1 overs in the match and conceded 24 runs.
- In the 2023 season of the Indian Premier League, Chennai Super Kings retained him at his base price of Rs. 20 lakhs.
- In April 2023, while he was playing an IPL match for Chennai Super Kings against Rajasthan Royals, CSK captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni lost his calm at Matheesha Pathirana and ended up giving him a death stare after Pathirana intercepted Dhoni’s direct-hit attempt at the stumps.
- In his spare time, Matheesha Pathirana loves traveling and listening to music.
- Pathirana’s favorite food is Pizza.
- His bowling action is very similar to that of Lasith Malinga because of which he is often called Baby Malinga, Podi (little) Malinga, Mini Mali, and Next Malinga in the cricket fraternity. The Indian Express In an interview, denying that Pathirana has copied the bowling style of Malinga, his father said,
We heard that his bowling action is similar to that of Malinga’s. But he has not copied it. He used to bowl like that when he started to play cricket. Rigorous training helped him improve his bowling skills.”
- A fitness enthusiast, Matheesa Pathirana follows a strict workout regimen.
- He is an avid animal lover and has shared several pictures with cats on his Instagram account.
- His family lives in Katugastota.
- Interestingly, in 2021, a bowling video of Matheesha Pathirana from a school tournament in which Matheesha represented Trinity College against (Sanath) Jayasuriya’s school went viral on the internet which grabbed the Indian cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni‘s attention. Impressed with his bowling action, MS Dhoni was very keen on adding Matheesha in the IPL reserves of the Chennai Super Kings. He even wrote a letter to Pathirana and offered him to join Chennai Super Kings in UAE during their tour. However, Matheesha failed to become a part of the Chennai Super Kings at that time as the Sri Lanka Cricket didn’t issue a NOC at that time.
- In the 2023 IPL, his bowling technique gained immense popularity, leading to him being affectionately known as “Baby Malinga.”