Kusal Perera is one of the 15 players who have been named in the Sri Lanka squad to play the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 in England and Wales. Kusal Perera, who made his one-day international debut on 13-Jan-13, had played 88 ODI matches until the 2019 World Cup. In the 83 innings he batted in, he had scored a total of 2283 runs, having faced 2515 balls, at an average of 29.27 and a strike rate of 90.78. He was unbeaten in 5 of those innings. His highest score in an innings was 135. He had 4 centuries and 11 half-centuries to his name.
Kusal Perera is a professional Sri Lankan cricketer. He plays all forms of the game for the Sri Lanka national cricket team, and currently one of the permanent middle order batsman in all formats. He was a key member of the 2014 ICC World Twenty20 winning team. He owned the joint second fastest fifty of all time in ODI history. In April 2019, he was named in Sri Lanka's squad for the 2019 Cricket World Cup.
He smashed 153 not out against South Africa in the first Test at Durban in 2019 to snatch the victory from the hands of South Africa by adding 78 runs for the last wicket with Vishwa Fernando in the match in the 4th innings of the Test match. That innings is named as the greatest test innings of All time in the history of 140 years test cricket by Golden Wiilow 25. In domestic cricket, he plays for the Wayamba cricket team.
He is known as a quick scorer, and can hit the ball very hard which has a same batting style of former Sri Lanka legend Sanath Jayasuriya. In a first class match he scored 330 off 270 balls, which is a domestic record.
He made his IPL debut playing for Rajasthan Royals in the 2013 IPL season. Prior to the start of the 2018 IPL season, he was approached by the Sunrisers Hyderabad team to replace their former captain David Warner who was banned for ball-tampering scandal against South Africa. However he turned down the offer as he was devoted to play in the domestic league matches in Sri Lanka during the period and wanted to make a Test return into the Sri Lankan cricket team for the upcoming series against West Indies in June, 2018.
Perera was a part of a 15-man squad that toured Australia in January 2013. He made his One day international debut against Australia in the 2nd ODI on January 13, 2013. Perera made his T20I debut in the first T20I against Australia in January 2013 and scored 33 from 22 balls before getting caught behind.
On 13 December 2013 he scored 84 runs from 59 balls against Pakistan and Sri Lanka and went on to score a massive total of 211. Sri Lanka won the match by 24 runs and Perera earned the Man of the Match for the performance. Perera hit his maiden ODI ton against Bangladesh on 22 February 2014. He scored 106 from 124 balls before getting bowled By Rubel Hossain. He won the Man of the Match award.
He made his Test debut for Sri Lanka against India on 28 August 2015. He showed his batting talents right on the first innings of the match, where he was the top scorer for Sri Lanka with 56 runs in first innings. In second innings as well, he scored 70 runs to be the 2nd Sri Lankan batsman to score 2 successive half centuries on Test debut after Dinesh Chandimal. But eventually Sri Lanka lost the match and also the series against India.
On 22 March 2014 against South Africa in 2014 ICC World Twenty20. He scored 125 runs in the tournament at an average of 20.83 and an impressive strike rate of 145.48. Sri Lanka won their first T20I title by defeating India in the final.
Perera was not qualified for the squad for 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup tournament due to poor performance against India and England. After the tournament starts, Dimuth Karunaratne was injured and Perera was called to the World Cup squad. He played his first World Cup match against Scotland on 11 March 2015, where he scored quick 24 runs. He opened the batting for Sri Lanka on quarter finals of the World Cup, where he failed again to score runs, only scored 3 runs. Sri Lanka eventually lost the match and quit from the World Cup as well.
After the retirement of two cricket legends Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardena from ODIs, Kusal was brought to the squad as the permanent opening batsman with Tillakaratne Dilshan during ODI series against Pakistan. The strike rate of Kusal's innings was 272 and it is now the highest strike rate in an innings of 50 or more runs by a Sri Lanka batsman in ODIs, which he also surpassed his master Jayasuriya's strike rate of 271.42 in 1996 against same opposition.
During the 2nd ODI match against West Indies, Kusal got out to 99 runs, just one short to his third century. He is the fourth Sri Lankan player to get out in 99 in ODIs, the other three are Kaluwitharana single time, Jayasuriya in two times, and Dilshan single time. He is the 29th of all cricketers to be dismissed in 99.
Kusal was included to the original squad for 2017 ICC Champions Trophy and played first two pool games as well. However, during the match against India, Kusal suffered by a hamstring injury and he retired hurt after scoring 47 runs. He was immediately ruled out of the Champions Trophy and Dhananjaya de Silva was replaced Kusal in the tournament.
His injuries continuously rose when he entered to the playing eleven. Perera was ruled out of the Bangladesh Tri-series after a side strain occurred during his 49 runs against Zimbabwe on 21 January 2018. Before that, he also scored 80 runs against Zimbabwe, where Sri Lanka lost the match after his wicket. Kusal was injured several times in his career, where he missed many bilateral tournaments in 2016-17 seasons.
Perera initially tested positive for a banned substance and was recalled from the New Zealand tour in December 2015. His urine sample was provided for a random test by the International Cricket Council during the home series against Pakistan in May 2015.
On 11 May 2016, he was cleared of the charges. The integrity of the laboratory that tested the sample was brought into question, with the ICC hiring an independent expert to find that the lab's outcome was not sustainable. Perera had spent some of his own money on fighting the charges, including travelling to the UK to undergo further tests to clear his name.
After cleared from doping suspects, Kusal joined Test squad for the rest of the England tour. Perera scored his maiden Test century on 29 October 2016, against Zimbabwe in the first Test at Harare.
After poor performances in South African test tour, Perera was dropped from the ODI and T20I squad. He was renamed to the squad in late March 2017 for Bangladesh limited over series, however could not play in ODI series due to hamstring injury. However, he passed fitness test for T20I series and marked his comeback with 77 runs off 55 balls, where Sri Lanka won the match by 6 wickets. Perera was adjudged man of the match for his performance.
During the first T20I against India in 2018 Nidahas Trophy, he smashed a match-winning 66 runs to chase down India's total of 174. Sri Lanka won the match and Kusal was awarded with man of the match.
On 16 March 2018 against Bangladesh in the Tri-series, Kusal recorded his tenth T20I fifty by equaling second most number of T20I fifties by a Sri Lankan. During the same match, he broke Kumar Sangakkara's record to become the fastest Sri Lankan to reach 1000 T20I runs (34 innings). Kusal Perera also became the first player to score 5 T20I fifties against a same opposition (Bangladesh) after registering the most number of T20I fifties by any player in T20I history.
In May 2018, he was one of 33 cricketers to be awarded a national contract by Sri Lanka Cricket ahead of the 2018–19 season