Sri Lankan powder Bhanuka Rajapaksarepresentative for Punjab Kings (PBKS) in IPL 2022announced that he was withdrawing from the international cricket tournament when he was urged to do so by the country’s cricket board.
In a shocking move, the 30-year-old announced his retirement from international cricket earlier this year, citing family obligations. However, just days later, he changed his mind about his decision to quit and insisted that he wanted to play for the country again.
At a virtual press conference after PBKS’s loss before Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Friday, the left-hander was asked about the U-turn. Rajapaksa explained:
“I had to withdraw my application for retirement because I was asked by the SLC to do so so that I could serve the country more. I am still. I have a problem with my leather scarf and that’s why I can’t represent the country nor can I meet its standards (SLC). ”
The attacking player was not selected in the Sri Lanka team for the T20I series against India after failing a scalp test, which was part of the SLC’s selection process regarding fitness levels.
When asked how he has prepared for the IPL despite not playing much international cricket in recent months, Rajapaksa replied:
“I just work on my game a little bit more. I didn’t play cricket for almost four months until I went to IPL because I missed the Australia tour and India series. I just want to come play and satisfy myself because this is all I know to do. I love to play cricket and I just want to keep doing the good things that I have done in the past. ”
The Sri Lankan has been in extremely impressive form during IPL 2022. He dropped 43 points 22 games against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and followed by 9-31 on Friday against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).
“Wanted to hit the ball deep, but lost the ball in the middle of the court” – Rajapaksa on his plan to hit the ball against KKR
PBKS put up a strange polish against KKR. They ran to 62 at the end of the level but lost three points. Despite a dazzling start, they were only able to finish with £137.
When asked what exactly is Punjab’s plan with the bat, Rajapaksa explained:
“The plan for us is to capture as many points as possible and score some big points on the board. We know that Knight Riders have a very strong side, especially when it comes to hitting the ball. We know the strength of Russ (Russell) and the experience of (Sam) Billings and even the class of (Shreyas) Iyer. So we wanted to hit deep, but unfortunately, we lost a few of the middle rods. That’s where we need to improve in the next game. I’m sure the boys will bounce back.”
Defending a total of 137, PBKS dropped KKR to 51 for 4. Andre Russell’s undefeated 70-lose 31-match however gave Kolkata a crunchy six-goal win.