Teams Played For
Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka Board Presidents XI, Ruhuna Royals, Kandurata Maroons, Comilla Victorians, Dhaka Dynamites, Sri Lanka A, Colombo, Kandy, Sri Lanka XI, Galle
Hettige Don Rumesh Lahiru Thirimanne is a Sri Lankan international cricketer and former ODI captain of his national team. From a very early age at his career, Thirimanne, a left-handed attacking batsman, was considered as Sri Lanka’s next big thing but could not quite live up to the expectations.
The southpaw hailing from Ragama Cricket Club, developed his reputation due to his solid back-foot as well as front-foot game, and in addition to that is his cover-drive to die for.
Thirimanne started off pretty young as being a part of Sri Lanka U19 World Cup side in 2008. Two years later, the southpaw came in the national setup after donning a heaving load of runs in his maiden domestic season in 2009-10.
He made his ODI debut against India in the Tri-Series in 2010. It was only until 2012 that Thirimanne became a regular feature in his country’s ODI side. On the back of his ODI performances, the openers got a chance to play Tests but he could not make it big in the longest format. With too many resources as upright openers, the southpaw got demoted down the order, making his appearances sporadic.
He guided Sri Lanka to their fifth Asia Cup title in 2014 and shut all his critics with a set of consistent performances in the tournament, where he was the top run-getter.
His purple patch continued in that year’s World T20, where his performances forced the original skipper, Dinesh Chandimal, out of the playing XI, later helping his side clinch their maiden World T20 title.
Next year, during the 50-overs World Cup, the opener scored a knock of 139 runs against England, including the historical 212-run stand with Kumar Sangakkara, still the highest second-wicket-partnership for Sri Lanka.
Thirimanne has also had a great stint as captain. He led his national side to the gold medal in the 2014’s Asian Games held in Incheon, South Korea. In 2015, he captained Sri Lanka in three ODIs against New Zealand, Down Under. In 2019, when Sri Lanka toured Pakistan after a long leap and ten Sri Lankan players made themselves unavailable, Thirimanne was a captain in the 50-overs format.
He made another comeback in 2019, where he established himself in the Test format but couldn’t manage to break into the other formats. In 2021, he scored a match-making century against England in the third innings of the Galle Test but his heroics went in vain as the visitors white-washed the Sri Lankan with an unassailable series win.
With age going-by, Thirimanne is struggling for his place in the set-up across formats and it’s looks unlikely that the graceful-yet-powerful strokemaker can revive his career as one of the greats of Sri Lankan cricket.
(As of March 2021)