|BORN||July 22, 1982|
|BATTING STYLE||Right Handed|
|BOWLING STYLE||Right-arm fast medium|
He may be short in stature and may also lack the built of a fast bowler, but Nuwan Kulasekara, with his nagging line and length and ability to swing the ball both ways, was a more than capable medium pace bowler.
Kulasekara played for Nugegoda Cricket Club for four years before making his first-class debut for Galle Cricket Club in the 2002 season. He had a bright start to his first-class career as in just his first season, he won the best bowler award in the 2002-03 domestic competition, scalping 61 wickets, he grabbed three five-wicket hauls, including one 10-wicket haul. The Sri Lankan selectors took notice of his domestic performances and he was rewarded with a place in the ODI squad for the home series against England in 2003. He had an excellent debut against England picking up two wickets. But things went downhill from there on and after an unimpressive Test debut against New Zealand in 2005 he was dropped from both Test and ODI squads. His comeback wasn't a fairytale though. Only after a handful of games he was dropped again but with the World Cup around the corner, the selectors gave him another chance and with impressive performances, he earned his place in Sri Lanka's 2007 World Cup squad.
Dropped in the aftermath of the World Cup, he staged a brilliant comeback, taking 47 wickets in 11 months since April 2008 which propelled him to the number one spot in the ICC ODI Rankings in 2009. In 2011, he was selected to represent Chennai in the Champions League T20 in place of injured Tim Southee. In 2013 a splendid spell of swing bowling saw him scalp his first ODI five-for as he decimated the Australian top-order with consummate ease in Brisbane. Not only with the ball but he also developed as a handy lower-order batsman. With his big-hitting abilities, he can play the pinch-hitter's role too which he exhibited successfully in the 2013 Champions Trophy match against England, blasting 58 from 38 balls to power Sri Lanka to a victory along with Sangakkara.
Nuwan made his reputation as a whole-hearted bowler, forever eager to offer his services whenever the captain needed him. Along with the traditional swing, he can reverse swing the old ball too with his nagging accuracy which made him a dangerous proposition for any opposition. His career though slowly started to lose steam and he fell out of the radar of the Lankan selectors. He last played an international match in 2017 and after getting ignored for a long time, Nuwan decided to call it quits soon after the 2019 Cricket World Cup. At the time of his retirement, Kulasekara was the third leading wicket-taker for Sri Lanka (pacers) with 199 ODI wickets.