Sri Lanka is blessed with a wealth of up and coming talent, and Dimuth Karunaratne is emerging as potentially the cream of the crop. Although still inexperienced at international level, the gifted opening batsman has performed admirably in First Class cricket.
His performances for the Sinhalese SC have been a major part of their ongoing success. His 2009 season was a standout, with the newly promoted opener amassing 1186 runs at an average of 56.54. In a competitive country, big runs at an early age are the key to national selection, and Karunaratne was keen to let his bat do the talking.
The outstanding domestic season was rewarded with a place in the Sri Lanka A squad that hosted South Africa A. Karunaratne was never going to let a glorious opportunity like this slide, and went on to make a classy 184. Importantly for the young opener, Karunaratne has gone on to make even bigger scores to prove that the 184 was no fluke.
The selectors were clearly impressed by the rising star, and selected Karunaratne for the series against England and Scotland. In his only ODI appearances, Karunaratne scored 4 and 60. The matches in the UK showed he could handle the swinging conditions that can often trouble players from the sub-continent.
An injury to Tillakaratne Dilshan paved the way for his entry into the Test side in the recent series against New Zealand. Although he failed in the first innings, Karunaratne brushed aside the nerves to hit a stylish run-a-ball 60* in the second dig to guide his side to a 10 wicket win.
It will be tough to fight his way into a very competitive Sri Lankan side, but Karunaratne has shown maturity beyond his year already in his career. Even if he misses out on selection in Australia, there are bound to be countless opportunities down the track. He is certainly a name to look out for in the future.