Ajantha Mendis is a Sri Lankan cricketer who is also a Gunner in the Sri Lanka artillery. He was born in Moratuwa , Sri Lanka. He is a spinner who bowls legbreaks, flippers, top-spinners, offbreaks and googlies. As he can bowl such a variety of deliveries the batsmen are confused regarding what his next delivery might be.
Mendis had his basic education at St Anthony’s College at Kadalana where there were no facilities for sports. In 2000 he entered Moratuwa Maha Vidyalaya where he represented the under 15 team and was chosen to the first eleven team. He was selected as the Best Bowler at the big matches in 2001 as well as 2002. During the 2003-04 tournaments when he played a match against the Army under 23 Division 11 his talents were spotted by the Sri Lanka Army Cricket Committee. Due to this he was requested to join the Regular Force of Sri Lanka Army.
Mendis played for the Army in 59 two or three days matches and 23 limited over matches where he took 244 and 38 wickets respectively. Further he was chosen to the pool of Academy Squad which was organized by Sri Lanka cricket. He was selected for an eight day tour of India in June 2007 where he played two two-day matches. His performance in the Premier Limited over tournament 2007-08 was impressive and the Sri Lanka Cricket selectors chose him to play in the Provincial tournament 2008. Here also he performed excellently and hence was nicknamed as Mysterious bowler. Some local TV commentators labeled him as a perfect replacement for Muralitharan the spin wizard. In the domestic season of the Premier League Tournament he took 68 wickets in 9 matches and due to all these achievements he was selected to the National One Day Squad that toured West Indies in 2008. The debut was good for him and later on he was selected for the Asia Cup against India where he ran through the Indian Batting line up with 6 wickets for just 13 runs. The ‘carrom ball’ which he has developed has proved dangerous for many batsmen as they have fell prey to it. It is difficult to pick up as it is just a flick of the fingers while delivering which gives the ball reverse rotations and also some more speed compared to other deliveries my Mendis.
In 7 one day internationals he has taken 14 wickets at an average of 13.71 and economy rate of 4.
ICC Emerging player of the year 2008.