|Kusal Mendis Quick Info|
|Height||5 ft 8 in|
|Date of Birth||February 2, 1995|
Kusal Mendis is a Sri Lankan professional cricketer who has represented his country in all 3 formats of the sport (Tests, ODIs, and T20Is), as a top-order batter and wicketkeeper. Before breaking into the senior national team in October 2015, he had captained Sri Lanka at the 2014 ICC (International Cricket Council) Under-19 Cricket World Cup. Sri Lanka finished the tournament in 8th place in a field of 16 teams. In the Sri Lankan domestic circuit, Kusal has played for Bloomfield Cricket and Athletic Club (2015-2017), Colombo Cricket Club (2017-Present), and Galle (2018-2019) across all 3 formats. At the franchise level, he has turned out for Kandy Tuskers (2020) and Galle Gladiators (2021-Present) in the LPL (Lanka Premier League); and Comilla Victorians (2022) in the BPL (Bangladesh Premier League).
Balapuwaduge Kusal Gimhan Mendis
Moratuwa, Colombo, Western Province, Sri Lanka
Colombo, Western Province, Sri Lanka
Kusal had attended the Prince of Wales College, a selective entry boys school in Moratuwa. He had captained the school’s cricket team.
- Father – Dinesh Mendis
- Siblings – Omesh Mendis (Younger Brother) (Cricketer)
He has been represented by Field Power Sports, Athlete Management Agency, Colombo, Western Province, Sri Lanka.
Right-Arm Leg Break
Top-Order Batter, Wicketkeeper
- 2, 13 – Test Match, One Day International (ODI), T20 International (T20I)
- 13 – Galle Gladiators (LPL)
5 ft 8 in or 173 cm
68 kg or 150 lbs
Girlfriend / Spouse
Kusal has dated –
- Nishell Mendis (2021-Present) – Kusal married Nishell on February 12, 2021, in a ceremony held in Colombo. They have a daughter together (b. June 2022).
Race / Ethnicity
He is of Sri Lankan descent.
- Toned physique
- Side-cropped, side-parted hair
- Affable smile
- Sports a thick beard
Kusal Mendis Facts
- Kusal first came into the spotlight in 2013 when he was named Sri Lanka’s ‘Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year’.
- He first turned heads on the international stage in late July 2016 when he smoked 176 runs in just 254 balls in the 2nd innings of the first match of a 3-match bilateral home test series against Australia. Sri Lanka went on to win the match by 106 runs and Kusal won the ‘Player of the Match’ award for his stellar knock. The excellence of his performance was highlighted by the fact that no other batter could score more than 55 runs in either inning of the match.
- This was Kusal’s maiden century in the test match format and he became the youngest Sri Lankan player to have scored a test match century against Australia. It was also the then-highest score by a Sri Lankan player against Australia on home soil. Sri Lanka’s win in this match was just their 2nd win in 27 test matches against Australia.
- In the 2nd match of this series, he top-scored for Sri Lanka in the first innings with a knock of 86 runs as Sri Lanka went on to win the match by 229 runs to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series. This was Sri Lanka’s first series victory against Australia in the test match format since 1999, and Australia’s 8th straight loss in test matches in Asia. Sri Lanka completed a 3-0 sweep of the series in the next match, the country’s first series whitewash against Australia in the test match format.
- In Sri Lanka’s 2nd match of the group stage of the 2017 edition of the ICC Champions Trophy, against India, opening the batting, Kusal top-scored for Sri Lanka with a fine knock of 89 runs that laid the perfect platform for Sri Lanka to hunt down a massive target of 322 runs. He was named the ‘Player of the Match’ for his stellar performance. This was Sri Lanka’s joint-highest successful run-chase in ODI history as well as the highest successful run-chase by any team in the history of the ICC Champions Trophy.
- In November 2017, for his performances in the 2016-17 season, he was honored with the ‘ODI Batsman of the Year’ award at the annual awards ceremony of SLC (Sri Lanka Cricket, the governing body for the sport in the country).
- In February 2018, Kusal became the 2nd Sri Lankan player, after Kumar Sangakkara, to have been dismissed for a score in the 190s at least twice, in test match cricket.
- In December 2018, in the 2nd innings of the first match of a 2-match bilateral away test series against New Zealand, Kusal walked out to bat, late on the 3rd day of the match, with his team tottering at a score of 13/3 in the 7th over. He and Angelo Mathews then batted through the entire 4th day of the match which was just the 5th time that a Sri Lankan pair had batted through an entire day of a test match. The day ended with Sri Lanka at 259/3 in 102 overs.
- The Kusal-Angelo partnership was still unbroken early on the 5th day when rain interrupted Sri Lanka’s inning at 287/3 in 115 overs. No further play was possible and the match ended in a draw. This unbeaten partnership of 274 runs was Sri Lanka’s then-highest for any wicket against New Zealand and also Sri Lanka’s highest partnership in the 2nd innings of a test match. It was also the first time that a Sri Lankan pair had added 200 or more runs in the 2nd innings of a test match outside Asia.
- He finished the calendar year of 2018 as the second-highest run-scorer in test match cricket, with 1,023 runs to his name.
- Kusal was an integral member of the Sri Lankan squad that defeated South Africa by a 2-0 margin in an away bilateral test series, in February 2019. It was a historic occasion as it was the first test series won by Sri Lanka (or any team from Asia) in South Africa. Kusal was named the ‘Player of the Match’ in the 2nd of those 2 matches.
- In July 2020, he was involved in a serious road accident in Panadura, a city in Kalutara District, Western Province, Sri Lanka. The vehicle that he was driving hit an elderly cyclist who later succumbed to his injuries. Kusal was arrested after the incident but released on bail the following day.
- In June 2021, Sri Lanka Cricket suspended Kusal, Danushka Gunathilaka, and Niroshan Dickwella after they had reportedly breached the team’s bio-secure bubble (necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic) during the team’s tour of England. The following month, after an inquiry into the incident, he was suspended from international cricket for 1 year. The suspension was, however, revoked in January 2022.
- In September 2022, he was an integral member of the Sri Lankan squad that won the ACC (Asian Cricket Council) Asia Cup for the 6th time. The tournament was started in 1984 as a measure to promote goodwill between Asian countries. As of December 2022, the tournament had maintained its status as the only continental championship in international cricket.
- During the tournament, Kusal top-scored with 60 runs in Sri Lanka’s narrow 2-wicket win over Bangladesh in the teams’ 2nd and last match of the group stage; a must-win encounter after both teams had been beaten by Afghanistan in their respective opening matches of the group stage. He was named the ‘Player of the Match’ for his performance.
- In the next phase of the tournament, he top-scored for Sri Lanka in its first 2 matches – 36 runs off 19 balls against Afghanistan and 57 runs off 37 balls against double-defending champions India. Sri Lanka successfully chased down totals in excess of 170 runs in the final over of both those matches, results that virtually sealed a place for the team in the final of the tournament where they would beat Pakistan by 23 runs.
- Kusal finished the tournament as the 6th highest run-scorer, with 155 runs to his name at a superb strike rate of 156.56 runs per 100 balls faced. This fairytale triumph at an event where they were rank outsiders was not just what the doctor ordered for Sri Lankan cricket (which has struggled with inconsistent performances on the international stage in recent years), it was also a much-needed moment of cheer for the cricket-crazy Sri Lankan people who were facing their worst economic crisis since independence which had resulted in the country declaring bankruptcy, prices of fuel and daily necessities shooting through the roof, and a severe shortage of medicines and other essentials.
Featured Image by Kusal Mendis / Instagram