Bhanuka Rajapaksa has been a gem of discovery for the Punjab Kings in the IPL 2022. He has been in and out of his national side due to fitness issues, as he admits, and has gone through a lot of hardships to get to where he is now. Sri Lanka has a stringent fitness code, and if a player fails to meet it, he or she would be barred from participating in team competitions.
Due to the absence of first-choice wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow, Rajapaksa was given the opportunity to play wicketkeeper for the Punjab Kings, and the 30-year-old did not disappoint, batting well in the first three games. He was rested for a couple of games after Bairstow was back into the side, as the team was more inclined towards Bairstow because of his prior record in the league.
After Bairstow’s dismal run in the games, Rajapaksa was brought back into the playing combination as the team’s core strengthened. In a video shared by the Punjab Kings on their social media handle, Rajapaksa shared the struggle that he has gone through in his career and the challenges that he had to face thus far on his national side.
“About challenges, you name it, I have faced everything through the period of 9-10 years. It took me almost 10 years to get into the side. It was really difficult. For nine years it was not easy. Mentally, I was very low. Sometimes, I was very down. I wouldn’t say depressed but there were moments when I didn’t want to continue playing cricket, but thanks to my wife, who was my fiancé at that time.”
— Punjab Kings (@PunjabKingsIPL) April 27, 2022
“She [wife] was very supportive as well as my parents. They never wanted me to leave the game since they know how much I like it and how much I love it. Here I am now again. I think more than me, it was my wife who was much more into it because I was left out from the national side since I had issues with my skinfolds. It’s something that they’ve looked into all these years and I’ve been dropped from the Australia tour and the Indian series,” he added.