“One of the best chats I had with Liam”: Bhanuka Rajapaksa recalls Liam Livingstone’s advice during IPL 2022 stint at Punjab Kings

Dixit Bhargav
|Published 26/08/2022

Bhanuka Rajapaksa recalls Liam Livingstone’s advice: The Sri Lankan batter appears to have learnt a lot during maiden Indian Premier League season.

Sri Lanka batter Bhanuka Rajapaksa claims to have brought a lot of positivity to the national team from his maiden Indian Premier League stint at Punjab Kings.

Among the few Sri Lankan players to have taken part in IPL 2022, Rajapaksa believes that discussions with Kings captain Mayank Agarwal, batters Shikhar Dhawan and Liam Livingstone and fast bowler Kagiso Rabada have benefited him.

“Coming back to the Sri Lankan side, I have brought in a lot of positivity after speaking to a lot of the IPL players, like Shikhar Dhawan, Mayank Agarwal and KG [Kagiso Rabada],” Rajapaksa told ESPNcricinfo.

“I don’t think I have the time to explain in detail the talks we had, but there were a lot of positive vibes. I’m hoping we can take that same brand of cricket to the world.”

Bhanuka Rajapaksa recalls Liam Livingstone’s advice during IPL 2022

Rajapaksa, who batted alongside England’s Livingstone in his first-ever IPL innings, appears to have been impressed by his big-hitting skills. Rajapaksa, 30, also recalled receiving an advice from a “proper slam-bang player” in Livingstone.

“For me, the experience I bring after playing in the IPL will create good energy for the side. One of the best chats I had with Liam [Livingstone] was when he said, ‘If it’s in the V, make sure the ball is in the trees’. He’d just be that aggressive. Proper slam-bang player,” Rajapaksa mentioned.

In nine IPL innings this season, Rajapaksa scored 206 runs at an average and strike rate of 22.88 and 159.68 respectively to be PBKS’ fifth-highest run-scorer whilst batting at No. 3 on most occasions.

Rajapaksa, who commenced his own IPL career in a slam-bang fashion to be among the batters with best strike rates early on in the tournament, couldn’t remain consistent throughout the season. However, his potential was there to be seen justifying the franchise buying him for INR 50 lakh in the auction.

Although without a lot of success, Rajapaksa represented Sri Lanka in a three-match T20I series against Australia post IPL 2022. With all his differences with SLC (Sri Lanka Cricket) sorted now, Sri Lankan fans would be hoping for the left-handed batter to leave a mark in Asia Cup 2022.

Sri Lanka will face Afghanistan in the tournament opener in Dubai tomorrow.

About the author
Dixit Bhargav

Dixit Bhargav

Born and brought up in Pathankot, Dixit Bhargav is an engineering and sports management graduate who is currently into his fifth year as a Cricket Editor at The SportsRush. His first cricketing memory dates back to 2002 when former India captain Sourav Ganguly had waved his jersey at the historic Lord’s balcony. What followed for an 8-year-old was an instant adulation for both Ganguly and the sport. The optimist in him is waiting for the day when Punjab Kings will win their maiden Indian Premier League title. When not watching cricket, he is mostly found in a cinema hall watching a Punjabi movie.

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