Sri Lanka has always been one of the most competitive teams in white-ball cricket and has produced many incredible players. Their most significant achievement in the shortest format of the game, Twenty-20 (T20) cricket, came in 2014 when they won the T20I World Cup. Today, in the following article, we name some of the Sri Lankan players who have played the most matches in T20I cricket and their records and achievements.
1. Lasith Malinga
The list begins with Lasith Malinga, one of Sri Lanka's most successful white-ball bowlers. Malinga represented Sri Lanka in T20Is from 2006 to 2020 in 84 matches. This right-arm fast bowler hails from Galle and is the highest wicket-taker for Sri Lanka in the T20I format, with 107 wickets to his name at an average of 20.79. His best bowling figures in T20Is are five for six.
2. Thisara Perera
Next on the list is Thisara Perera, one of Sri Lanka’s best fast-bowling all-rounders in white-ball cricket and a fantastic power-hitter and stroke-maker. Thisara started playing T20I cricket in 2010 and played until 2021, featuring in 84 matches. He scored over 1200 runs and took 51 wickets in his T20I career.
3. Tillakaratne Dilshan
Tillakaratne Dilshan, a right-handed top-order batter and a former Sri Lanka captain, played for Sri Lanka in 20-over cricket from 2006 to 2016. Dilshan featured in 80 T20Is for Sri Lanka, joint second highest for a Sri Lankan player. He amassed over 1800 runs at an average of 28.19, with 13 fifties and a hundred to his name.
4. Angelo Mathews
Angelo Mathews, one of Sri Lanka’s best all-rounders, is the next to feature on the list. Mathews hails from Colombo and is a former Sri Lankan captain. He started playing for Sri Lanka in T20 cricket in 2009 and featured in 78 matches until 2021. He scored 1148 runs and took 28 wickets during his T20I career.
5. Dasun Shanaka
At number five, we have Dasun Shanaka, Sri Lanka’s current white-ball captain and a brilliant all-rounder. Shanaka started playing T20I cricket in 2015 and soon became an integral part of the team. So far, he has played in 71 T20Is, scoring 1070 runs at an average of 20.57 and picking up 18 wickets.
6. Dinesh Chandimal
Next on the list is Dinesh Chandimal, a right-handed wicketkeeper batter and a former Sri Lankan captain. In 2010, Chandimal played his first T20I against New Zealand at Providence. He has played in 68 T20Is so far and has scored 1062 runs at an average of 19.66 with six fifties to his name.
7. Kusal Perera
Next on the list is Kusal Perera, a powerful, strong left-handed top-order batter. Kusal started playing in T20Is in 2013 when he played his first game against Australia in Sydney. He featured in 60 T20Is for Sri Lanka and scored 1539 runs at an average of 26.53 with 12 fifties to his name.
8. Nuwan Kulasekara
Next, we have Nuwan Kulasekara, who represented Sri Lanka in the T20 format for ten years (2008–2017). Kulasekara was a right-arm fast bowler, famous for his accurate and tight line and lengths. In the 58 T20Is that Kulasekara played, he took 66 wickets at an average of 23.18, with the best bowling figures of 4 for 31.
9. Kumar Sangakkara
Kumar Sangakkara, the Sri Lankan legend and a batter par excellence, is next to feature on the list. Sangakkara was a left-handed wicketkeeper batter who was also one of the most graceful batters you'd ever see. He played in 56 T20Is for Sri Lanka, scoring 1382 runs at an average of 31.40.
10. Mahela Jayawardene
Mahela Jayawardene, a right-handed top-order batter from Colombo and a former Sri Lankan captain, is next on the list. Mahela started his T20I career in 2006 and played in 55 matches until 2014. He amassed 1493 runs during his T20I career at an average of 31.76 and scored nine fifties and a century.