Sri Lankan Dilhara Lokuhettige will become Cricket Albury-Wodonga's first international since 1993

Cricket Albury-Wodonga will field its first international player in almost a quarter-of-a-century on Saturday.

FLYING THE FLAG: Former Sri Lankan international Dilhara Lokuhettige will debut for Tallangatta. He is grateful for the club's support and will look to repay the favour. Picture: ELENOR TEDENBORG

FLYING THE FLAG: Former Sri Lankan international Dilhara Lokuhettige will debut for Tallangatta. He is grateful for the club's support and will look to repay the favour. Picture: ELENOR TEDENBORG

Tallangatta recruit Dilhara Lokuhettige played nine one-day fixtures and two T20 games for Sri Lanka, his last one-dayer in July, 2013.

“I bowl on a lot of flat wickets back home, so you have to have a lot of patience and bowl in the one area,” he said.

The 36-year-old has played against the game’s modern greats.

He bowled to Brian Lara in the Hong Kong Sixes, and Sachin Tendulkar in an ODI.

“The difference between the good and great players is that the great can put your good ball away for four, and Sachin was like that,” he said.

Lokuhettige also faced South African Dale Steyn, who has recorded one of the 10 fastest times in history at 156.2 kilometres per hour.

The Sri Lankan was labelled one of his country’s first T20 specialists.

In fact, he has an outstanding strike rate of 200 in his two internationals.

“And when I bowl, I like to bowl both outswing and inswing,” he said.

“If you just bowl fast, the batsman can get used to it, but nobody likes the ball swinging.”

Tallangatta coach Matt Armstrong argues though his star recruit mightn’t necessarily take a heap of wickets with swing, given the ball the association uses doesn’t swing as much.

“The key point of difference will be his ability to know where to bowl,” he said.

“His bowling intelligence will be higher than most people.”

Lokuhettige is the association’s first international player since West Indian batsman Clayton Lambert arrived in 1992-93.

He took the competition by storm with his big-hitting and CAW followers can expect more of the same.

Lokuhettige once smashed 30 runs in an over – five sixes –  against New Zealand in Hong Kong.

He is also the only fast bowling all-rounder in Sri Lankan first-class history to post a double century, but his most remarkable statistic is that he is second only to Chaminda Vaas in wickets taken in Sri Lanka’s first-class arena with 354 at 24, ahead of Muttiah Muralitharan.  

The Bushies are away to Albury, and then host Belvoir.

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