Getting to Know: Jeevan Mendis

Friday 28th October 2016
& News
Written by Danny Painter

Sri Lanka all-rounder Jeevan Mendis has joined Derbyshire and will be available for all forms for the first half of the 2017 season. We take a look at his career to date.

A top order batsman capable of generating leg-break spin to make life difficult for batsmen, the 33-year-old will sample his first taste of county cricket after playing the bulk of his domestic cricket in his home city of Colombo. 

Awarded the national schoolboy cricketer of the year in 2001, Mendis started his career when he made his international bow in a five match series against Pakistan under-19s in the same year, followed by a place in the ICC Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand two months later.

It was during this tournament that his right-arm spin caused trouble, claiming record-breaking figures of 7-19 against Zimbabwe in the group stages.

The next time Mendis would face Zimbabwe would be on his One-Day International debut in 2010 in Bulawayo, following performances for Sri Lanka A and Sri Lanka Board XI. He has since taken 28 wickets and scored 604 runs in 54 matches for the Lions. 

Mendis featured in the first two matches of the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup, against New Zealand and Afghanistan, before a hamstring injury ruled him out for the remainder of the tournament.

No stranger to global tournaments, Mendis played in the ICC Twenty20 World Cup in 2012. His all-round temperament earned him stints with the Dehli Daredevils in the Indian Premier League, Sydney Sixers in the Big Bash League and the Barbados Tridents in the Caribbean Premier League. 

He has recently been drafted to the Bangladesh Premier League, starting November 4 in Dhaka, where he will play for Chittagong.

Mendis will be familiar with English conditions, having played against England on five occasions, notwithstanding his inclusion in the Sri Lanka side that faced India in the semi-final of the 2013 Champions Trophy in Cardiff. 

Away from his international efforts, it is against the red-ball where Mendis shines with the bat, having scored 6,378 first-class runs at an average of 36.55. His feats include an unbeaten double century for Tamil Union Cricket and Athletic Club against Colombo CC in 2013.

He joined Tamil Union in 2008, after playing for Sinahlese Sports Club for six years. While his contributions with the bat have been significant, he has so far garnered 225 red-ball wickets at an average of 26.61. 

Mendis will join Derbyshire on the back recent domestic success where his 32 wickets and 574 runs helped Tamil Union win Sri Lanka’s top first-class competition for the first time in over 50 years. 

Welcome to Derbyshire, Jeevan.

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