19 year old Bhanuka learnt the rudiments of the game at his Alma Mater Royal College Colombo. He not only captained his prestigious institution, but went onto represent the Sri Lanka under 19 team in the recently concluded under 19 World Cup in New Zealand. Sri Lanka Cricket has given this young talented left hand bat great opportunities by giving their under 19’s exposure by arranging tours against their counterparts in South Africa, England, Australia, and also a home series against Pakistan and Bangladesh. Bhanuka was the leading scorer for his country in the World Cup aggregating 253 runs, he also showed his class against the Australians in their own back yard when he pummeled the strong Aussie attack to compile his career best of 154 off 111 deliveries, a series which his team won in down under.
BT: – Happy with your achievement so far in the international arena?
BR:- so far so good, I have grabbed the given opportunities with both hands, I have done my best and am pleased that I have taken all the steps with caution in achieving my objective to play for my country sooner rather than later.
BT: – You I’m told by your coach should do much more with the bat with your capabilities, has temperament been the cobble stone in your career so far?
BR: – As a youngster, I was care free, but now life has changed. With maturity, my temperament to play a long innings is taking shape. I have proved my willingness spend time at the wickets I n the recent past, and I am more than convinced that will be my plan as life goes on, out in the center.
BT: – Now that you have a contract with SLC, is Cricket going to be your lively hood?
BR: – Yes Cricket is my priority, I am grateful to the selectors for giving me a contract, it’s a huge bonus. Having said that cricket has its glorious uncertainties, so is life I reckon, hence I’m’ also doing law, LLb is my first step, basically law suites me, it’s a guide line and will help me when I start wearing older man’s clothes.
BT: – What arrears you reckon that you should work on to emulate your childhood fans namely Adam Gilchrist, Kumar Sangakkara and Mike Hussey?
BR: – I love the way these players who are left handers, set about planning their innings. It is a delight to watch their footwork, their hand eye coordination. I suppose the above mentioned players have no blemish with regard to their behavior both on and off the field. I want to be what I am, if I try to imitate these greats I will do damage to my style, yes I want to have my own style but learn from the heros.
BT: – Are you a player who is concerned in getting your technique to near perfection?
BR: – Yes I respect the technique factor, but it’s not gospel. My former batting coach Aravinda and my national coach Naveed told me to play the way I know. I suppose I have to work on my technique only if I fail for long periods of time. For me batting is all about getting runs
BT: – Scanning thru your career so far you seem to switch on and switch off, in other words you can be brilliant today and ordinary the next day, have you given this a thought?
BR: – I take one day at a time. If I start middling the ball, I make it count, I make the opposition pay, but some days, we all get off days ,so what, keep concentrating and look forward to the next day
BT: – How come you got a passion for Cricket from a tender age?
BR: – Well like all youngsters, you are wide eyed about so many passions in school. I loved to swim, but due to health constraints, I was asked by my doctor, to be cautious of the pool. This was a blessing in disguise I guess, I took to cricket like ducks taking to water. Thanks to my dad I have come this far. Whenever I try to be lazy, he warned me of overweight factor, and being too fat… so Cricket has to come stay in my life, thank God
BT: – Briefly tell me about your daily routine as a professional Cricketer?
BR: – Keeping fit and focused 24 x7 is an understatement, if you want to be professional. To me I want to be professional, my closest friends are the Gym, the morning Jog, practice in the evenings, a bout of hyphobola and parabola at school, early dinner, and good hug of the pillow well before dawn.
BT: – Finally your views on Sri Lanka repeating their great achievement of 1996, in this World Cup?
BR: – We have a golden opportunity. Home conditions, 3 new venues, excellent bowling attack, with great variety, super top order batsmen, dependable middle order batters, what more do we need. Just go out there and claim the big prize which we richly deserve.
Interviewed by Brian Thomas – Media Manager, SLC