Who is Akila Dananjaya?
Mahamarakkala Kurukulasooriya Patabendige Akila Dananjaya Perera is a Sri Lankan cricketer. The son of a carpenter from Panadura, Dananjaya is another installment of Sri Lanka's long line of unorthodox spinners. Officially a left-hand batsman and an off-break bowler, he is said to have seven variations, including the leg-break, googly, carrom ball, doosra and his stock off-spinner that had impressed national team captain Mahela Jayawardene so much in the nets as to make Jayawardene request him to be fast-tracked into the national squad. Dhananjaya had at that point played no first-class, List A, T20 or even U-19 cricket. This in turn led to controversy as his selection was questioned by the media on the basis of a net performance.
He was selected to play for Wayamba United in the inaugural Sri Lanka Premier League. In only his second match for the franchise, he took 3-18 against Nagenahira Nagas, consistently disturbing the batsmen with his flight, googly and other variations. This in turn led to a place in the final squad for the 2012 ICC World Twenty20. In the 2013 IPL auctions, Dananjaya was sold to the Chennai Super Kings for his base price of $20,000.
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