Kusal Mendis, the Sri Lankan batter, seems to be in red hot form in the ongoing 2022 Asia Cup, UAE. He scored only two in the opening defeat to Afghanistan, but since then, has made up for it. He has scored 98 runs with an average of 32.66 and a strike rate of 163.33. This includes the Man of the Match performance against Bangladesh, where he scored 60 runs off 37 balls in the do or die game. He followed it up with a 19-ball 36 and lead SL to victory in the Super 4 match against Afghanistan. He gave Sri Lanka a great start in the next match versus India, teaming up with Pathum Nissanka to stitch a 97 run partnership in the first 11 overs in the match. 

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Who is Kusal Mendis?

Professional cricketer Kusal Mendis represents Sri Lanka at the international level in all formats of the game. Domestically, he plays for Colombo Cricket Club and Galle Gladiators in the Lanka Premier League. He first made his debut for Sri Lanka in Tests, at the age of 20 on October 22, 2015. 

Born on February 2, 1995 in Moratuwa, Sri Lanka, Mendis received the Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year title in 2013. The following year, he led Sri Lanka’s under-19 team at the World Cup.

For Bloomfield Cricket Club, Mendis debuted in a first-class match during the 2015 Premier League Tournament. Mendis’ successful performance in the three-day Moin-ud-Dowlah tournament in Hyderabad cleared the way for him to be selected for the national team.

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In the second game of the series, in October 2015, he made his debut after being selected for the team to play against the West Indies. He made his Test debut after only 16 first-class innings, and it took him just one first-class century before he reached his first Test century. He scored 176 in the Test against Australia in a game where no other batsman scored more than 55. He became the youngest Sri Lankan to score a century against Australia and also the highest score against Australia on home soil.

Since then, Mendis has established himself in the top four in Test and a regular in the ODI and T20 set up as well. He made his debut in the ODI format on June 16, 2016 vs Ireland and in the T20I format on July 5, 2016 vs England.

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Mendis, Danushka Gunathilaka, and Niroshan Dickwella were placed on indefinite leave by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) on June 28, 2021, for violating the team’s bio-secure bubble during their tour of England. Prior to the ODI matches, SLC sent all three of the players back to their homes, as evidenced by their appearance in Durham’s downtown. Following the incident’s conclusion in July 2021, Mendis received a one-year ban from playing in international cricket. Sri Lanka Cricket then revoked the suspension early, in January 2022.

In May 2022, after experiencing chest symptoms on the first day of the second cricket test against Bangladesh on Monday, the SL batter was transported to a hospital in Dhaka. In the final over before lunch, Mendis appeared to be in pain and sat down on the pitch. Medical professionals treated him, but he immediately departed the scene while still holding his chest. However, he was cleared off any complications.

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Mendis was detained in July 2020 following his involvement in a tragic car accident in Panadura. An elderly cyclist was struck by Mendis’ car, and he eventually passed away in the hospital. Mendis was granted bail and released a day after the incident.