Sri Lanka Army-groomed two more world-renowned cricketers, Warrant Officer - II Seekkuge Prasanna and Sergeant Asela Gunaratne who did exceptionally well in the South African tour and the just concluded T-20 Australian Cricket Tournament - 2017 respectively after playing for the National Cricket Team, received laurels and service promotions this afternoon (1) from none other than the chief of the Army, Lieutenant General Crishanthe De Silva, Commander of the Army who invited both of them to his office at the Army Headquarters.
Extending his best wishes for future gains and exclusive performances, Warrant Officer - II Seekkuge Prasanna of the Sri Lanka Army Ordnance Corps was promoted to the next rank, Warrant Officer - I (WO - I), effective from Tuesday (Feb 28).
At the same time, the Commander of the Army, impressed with unmatched records, hitherto made by Sergeant Asela Gunaratne of the Sri Lanka Artillery in the most recent T-20 Australian Cricket Tournament, promoted him to the rank of Warrant Officer - II (WO - II), effective from Tuesday (28) as a recognition of his achievements.
Gesturing the formal acceptance of their promotions, both of them saluted the Commander of the Army on entering his office before a warm handshake welcomed them.
Commander of the Army symbolizing the appreciation of the Army on the same occasion presented two mementos to each of them and extended the Army’s warm greetings.
During the cordial interactive meet that ensued, the Commander of the Army freely spoke to both of them and inquired into those challenging moments of victory as well as the experiences they gained in international encounters and different pitches, amid thousands of cricket fans.
The occasion was graced by Major General Renaka Udawatta, Deputy Chief of Staff who is also the Colonel Commandant, Sri Lanka Army Ordnance Corps and Major General Priyantha Jayasundara, Chairman, Army Cricket Committee cum the Colonel of the Regiment, Sri Lanka Artillery, Major General P.M.R Bandara, Director General Sports of the Army and a few other senior officers.
Here follows respective cricket careers of both laureates;
Warrant Officer - I Seekkuge Prasanna;
Warrant Officer - I (WO I) Seekkuge Prasanna was enlisted to the Army on 21 October 2003 and played his debut match on 13 May 2005, representing the Army Cricket Club.
To-date, he has played 98 first class matches and scored 3216 runs in 155 innings, scoring 18 half centuries. He had so far bagged 488 first class wickets and also had played 34 One Day International (ODI) cricket matches scoring 370 runs. To his credit, he also scored 2 half centuries and took 28 wickets in the ODI encounters.
Having played 14 matches in the field of T-20 encounters, he was able to score 130 runs gaining 8 wickets. He represented Sri Lanka 'A' Cricket Team tour of England 2011 and became the Second Cricketer to represent the National Cricket Team of the Sri Lanka Army in One Day series & Test series and played his debut matches against Australia in the year 2011. In the same year, he represented the ODI tour against Pakistan.
He represented Sri Lanka Team during England tour and the Uva team during World Championship League T-20 Tournaments, held in South Africa 2012.
He has represented the Sri Lanka 'A' Cricket Team Tour of West Indies and Kenya tour of Sri Lanka 2013 and Sri Lanka National Cricket team ODI against New Zealand during the tour in Sri Lanka 2013. He also took part in the Sri Lanka National Cricket team during ICC T-20 World Cup 2014 and became Champions. In addition, he played for the Sri Lanka National Cricket Team T-20 tour of England 2014 and Sri Lanka National 'A' Cricket Team tour of England and Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka in 2014.
To his credit he also represented Southern Express team during World Champions League T-20 Tournament, held in India during Sept 14 – 28 in 2014, Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka 2015, ODI World Cup 2015 in Australia & New Zealand and the tour of India 2015.
In the year 2016, he represented the Sri Lanka National Cricket Team during the tours of New Zealand, India, Ireland, Australia and England.
In addition, he had played for the Provincial Cricket Tournament organized by the SLC and captained the Joint Champions team of the Defence Services games in 2016. In the year 2017, he represented the tour of South Africa and secured the victory for the Sri Lankan team displaying his outstanding performances. He was among the players in the T20 Australian tour.
Warrant Officer - II Asela Gunaratne;
Warrant Officer - II (WO II) Asela Gunaratne joined the Sri Lanka Army on 06 January 2007 and played his debut on 10 December 2008.
He has so far played 74 First Class Matches and scored 4971 runs in 126 innings, scoring 23 half centuries and 12 centuries, having obtained 44 First Class wickets.
In his One Day International (ODI) cricket, he has played 10 matches scoring 222 runs with one century and secured 9 ODI wickets.
During his T-20 encounters, he after playing 7 matches, scored 168 runs taking 3 wickets and scored 2 half centuries.
WO -II Gunaratne represented Premier Club Tournament in Bangladesh in 2013. Then he represented the Sri Lanka National 'A' Cricket Team tour of England in 2014. In the same year, he represented the National Cricket Team during the Asia Cup 2014 in South Africa. Then, he represented the Sri Lanka National 'A' Cricket Team during Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka in 2015. He was the captain of the Sri Lanka Premier Cricket Team in 2014/2015.
In 2015, he represented Sri Lanka National 'A' Cricket Team tour of New Zealand and Sri Lanka National Cricket Team tour of India 2016. In the same year, he represented Sri Lanka National Cricket Team tour of Zimbabwe.
In 2017, he represented Sri Lanka National Cricket Team tour of South Africa and Sri Lanka National Cricket Team tour of Australia.
He scored his debut 50 & 100 runs against Test series Zimbabwe -2016 and scored an ODI Century against South Africa - 2017.
His outstanding performances against Australia made him to be selected as Man of the Match award twice and also the Man of the Series as a result of his exceptional performances.