Will IPL exposure hurt Akila Dananjaya?

Russel Arnold responds to questions from fans in his weekly column
February 17, 2013

PhotoWhat do you think about Akila Dananjaya playing in the IPL? Some say that he will be primarily a net bowler and not get any chance to play, while others say that Indian players will learn all his variations. Your thoughts?Menaka Rupasinghe

Playing at the IPL has it's positives and negatives. Just as others will learn his variations, he should be learning from others too. The experience there will be great for him and he will be rewarded. He needs to make sure his feet are firmly grounded and not get carried away and lose his way. With the right advise, I think he could come out a better, more matured player.

What do you think of Tharindu Kaushal's performance in this domestic season?Eranga Gunarathna

He had a very impressive start, but he still has not played the best teams in the competition yet. He has settled in really well at the NCC and continues to keep ticking off all the right boxes. It's not only skill that is important, but how you handle the mental grind is also key.

For the last 20-odd years, our batsmen have struggled on bouncy wickets and in conditions that offer movement both off the seam and in the air. Why is it that even after all these years we are unable to create wickets at home that are green tops with bounce to help our cricketers get accustomed to these conditions?Ranoj

It's because the conditions in Sri Lanka are very different. The soil, the heat and humidity etc are so different compared to conditions in England, Australia and South Africa and it's really tough to hold the pitches together. They crumble because of the weather and the heat. The more the surface is exposed to the sun, it gets more drier and begins to play slow and low. If you leave too much moisture and grass to help it hold up better, the teams batting first will not be able to survive a session due to the amount of seam movement. It's not only the pitch, but also the cooler weather that helps develop seamer-friendly tracks.

Why was Bhanuka Rajapaksa, a former Sri Lanka U19 captain, and Sohan Borelessa not picked for the development squad for the warm-up match against Bangladesh? Are they injured or out of form?Dilum Kinigama

The squad has been picked more or less on form and there are others slightly ahead of these players at this stage.

Why was Mario Villavarayan replaced? Is he still involved with SLC or has been sacked altogether?Nimesh Hathurusinghe

Sri Lanka Cricket have opted for a rotation policy with some of their support staff. Mario is still employed by SLC, but the workload with the national team will be shared.

Have the Sri Lankan players at the BPL been paid yet? When do they expect to be paid?Rohitha Jayalath

To the best of my knowledge, the money due to them at this stage has been received.

Have you had any training as a coach, and have you received any certification for it?Tim

Yes, I am a Level 3 coach and have been since 2009.

Ask Russel Arnold a question »

© Island Cricket


Sulaimaan's picture
Member since:
3 December 2010
Last activity:
2 years 16 weeks

Come on, there is no way the IPL is going to benefit Akila in terms of his cricket.Expecting T20 to improve your game should mean the likes of Nannes,Hodge,D.Hussey,Tait etc. should by now be heading the lists of batsman and bowlers worldwide.The fact is, even in T20, they are not.

By exposing Akila at the IPL, the little mystery that was attached to him is going to be significantly reduced.

Ravana's picture
Member since:
8 July 2010
Last activity:
29 weeks 5 days

Typical Arnold he has neither said yes or no, so many ifs and buts !

Arnold is not using the position he has gained (by default since he is the only recent past player fluent in English) in the field of cricket journalism, to full effect.

If he continues like this he will be just another "also ran" very much like his cricketing career.

I guess they don't make too many Tony Griegs in this world !

Theekshana Somaratna's picture
Member since:
14 April 2012
Last activity:
5 years 25 weeks

Ravana, i havent liked all Arnolds replies (not suprising, no one else will think the exact same way i do) but he has made quite a few gutty calls. respect.

and the reference to his cricketing career is very much under the belt. not everyone is a superstar, even in the field you or i are in we are not the best i assume, Arnold played his role well. if i recall you didnt like it when other responded to you this way.

though i also think that the net impact of IPL on akila will be a net negative.

(Last edited by Theekshana Somaratna on February 17, 2013 - 21:25)
Confused's picture

Theekshana, welcome to the twisted, pathetic world of raving Ravana. Trust you now understand why I'm not overly diplomatic to this embittered also ran from Sri Lanka!

Sulaimaan, I can't say that I agree. Nannes & Co were established, experienced players at 1st class level before they played IPL, just as people like Dale Steyn was. Playing in the IPL was unlikely to change their status with the cream (Steyn) remaining the cream and the others remaining whatever standard they already were.

Akila on the other hand is raw with hardly any experience and you would have to concede that rubbing shoulders with the likes of Dhoni & Mike Hussey in what has consistently been the most professionally run outfit in the IPL, has got to do a 19 year old some enormous good.

As India has seen with the introduction of so many youngsters through the IPL, some have used it to launch their international cricketers and some have flattered to deceive.

And that I think is the big point. If you're good enough, you are going to be affective on any stage no matter how many IPLs you play. No one in their right mind would suggest that had Warne and Murali played in the IPL early in their careers, that they would not have been as successful.

So with Akila, if it is mystery alone that he's counting on, then his day's are numbered whether he plays IPL or not. For our sake, let us hope that far from being de-mystified, he goes on to launch a seriously good career.

UppercuT's picture
Member since:
19 October 2011
Last activity:
2 years 9 weeks

Confused has a point, if Akila is depending 'mystery' alone, then his career will go downhill after couple of tours even if he didn't play IPL.

Jonny Gleeson and N. Iverson were also 'mystery' spinners and it didn't take a IPL contracts to other players to decode them, and disappear into oblivion.
BTW didn't Saeed Ajmal play a whole season of SLPL? Is he less effective against SL players now?

Not tryin to say IPL is ALL GOOD, but can't blame EVERYTHING on IPL. It varies from player to player how they 'evolve' as they mature. Some players are mentaly strong enough, some are not. Ajmal is the former, Mendis is the latter!

PS: Russel Arnold was the best finisher SL had in ODIs until one Angelo Mathews came along!

Sulaimaan's picture
Member since:
3 December 2010
Last activity:
2 years 16 weeks

The IPL does have its benefits but I disagree with Russel saying the IPL could improve Akila as a 'cricketer'.The IPL is a domestic league and the standard of cricket is way below international level.

Its foolish to say that Akila is going to 'learn' through a domestic league when he has already played at the international level, that too in a World Cup and a final where he performed really well.

A bowler who has some mystery attached to him is always going to use it initially, its up to him to work on it once people figure him out.Whether Akila manages to do so is another story but for now SL has to use his mystery as an advantage which is either going to be lost or greatly reduced by him participating at the IPL

Confused's picture

So you think it is foolish to assume that because a 19 year old kid has bowled all of 14 overs at international level, he is not going to learn anything from a two-month stint alongside the likes of Dhoni, Ashwin, George Bailey, Bollinger, Dwayne Bravo, du Plessis, Hilfenhausen, Mike Hussey, Jadeja, Albie Morkel, Raina, Styris etc. Add to this collection of international experience, there is also our own Kulasekera and Randhiv to keep an eye on him.

Given the IPL window, Akila is presumably not going to be doing too much anyway in Sri Lanka.

Sulaimaan's picture
Member since:
3 December 2010
Last activity:
2 years 16 weeks

Yes, it is foolish to assume that a 19 year old kid is going to learn more from them than what they are going to learn from his bowling.He has already brushed shoulders with Dilshan,Sanga, Mahela,Malinga, Kulasekara and a host of international stars.

Given CSK's squad, he is rarely going to play a match like Randiv last year and the only experience, if any, is going to be as a net bowler.

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