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Last Updated:  Monday, 6 January, 2003, 18:41 GMT

Avishka Gunawardene
Born: 26/05/77
Team: Sinhalese Sports Club
ODI debut: 26/01/98
Past World Cups: -

Left-handed batsman

Gunawardene is one of the brightest one-day batsmen in world cricket.

The 25-year-old has accumulated more than 1,000 runs, and his average of around 30 shows that he will be a vital cog in the Sri Lanka wheel.

The Colombo-born star plays his game aggressively.

That style attracted selectors, who handed him his debut in a match against Zimbabwe in 1998.

When Sanath Jayasuriya picked up an hand injury in Australia in 1998/9 he enjoyed a good run in the side and played two matches in the Asia Test Championship.

However, the left-hander failed to impress sufficiently and was left out of the 1999 World Cup squad.

The next two years saw him in and out of the side.

His call-up into the squad is somewhat of a surprise considering his lack of form, but selectors have strong faith in Gunawardene.

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