Maheesh Theekshana is a Sri Lankan cricketer who has played in many international tournaments for Sri Lanka. He has also played many matches for Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in IPL. He is popularly called a mystery spinner due to his bowling variations. He is the first Sri Lankan cricketer, born in the millennium (2000), to play international cricket.
Morawakage Maheesh Theekshana (Zoysa) was born on Tuesday, 1 August 2000 (age 23 years; as of 2023) in Sedawatta, Colombo, Sri Lanka. His zodiac sign is Leo.
He got enrolled at Samayawardhana MV, Colombo 8 in grade 1 in 2006, and during the second grade, he attended Sedawatta Siddhartha Madya Maha Vidyalaya till 10th grade; however, after two boys of St. Benedict’s College, Colombo named Shanthilal Silva and Vivian Saverymuthapulle persuaded her grandmother to move to Kotahena, he started attending St. Benedict’s College where he also played cricket for the school team under coach Rukshan Foux. He later became a professional cricketer.
Height (approx.): 6′ 0″
Weight (approx.): 85 kg
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
He belongs to a middle-class family.
Parents & Siblings
There are not many details available about his parents. He was raised by his grandmother, Akhila Seneviratne. He has two sisters and a younger brother named Sithma Pawan.
Wife & Children
He is unmarried and has no children.
He has a cousin (sister) named Bhashini Priyangika who is an entrepreneur.
In September 2022, he was in a rumoured relationship with a girl.
Overcoming Fitness Issues
Based on his good performances in school cricket, he was invited for a trial at the National Cricket Academy at R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. He failed the fitness tests as he weighed 105 kg with a skinfold score of 140 (average being 91-100 and athlete being 81-100) and also took 10.1 minutes to complete 2 km tests.
Although he impressed Simon Willis, the director of cricket at the academy with his bowling, he was not included in the Sri Lanka Under-19 team for the 2018 ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup due to his fitness days. He later worked hard on his fitness after joining the Sri Lankan Army in 2020, shelved almost 22 kg weight and reduced his skinfold score by half. He also improved his YOYO test score from 16.1 to 19.2.
In 2010, he joined Asoka de Silva School of Cricket where he trained under Thilak de Silva and W.A.D.S. Ramyajith. He played for Colombo North under-13, Colombo North under-15, and Western Province North under-15 teams. On 1 March 2018, he made his T20 debut for Colts Cricket Club in the 2017-18 SLC Twenty-20 Tournament. On 14 March 2018, Theekshana played his debut List A (one-day) match for Colts Cricket Club during the 2017-18 Premier Limited Overs Tournament. On 7 December 2018, his first-class debut for the same club took place in the 2018–19 Premier League Tournament.
He trained under the mystery spinner Ajantha Mendis while playing cricket for the Sri Lankan Army Under-23 team and also played in the 2020 Army Commander’s Cup. In August 2021, he represented the SLC Blues team in the 2021 SLC Invitational T20 League tournament. He also played for Northern Warriors in
On 8 July 2022, he made his test debut against Australia and took 1 wicket for 48 runs in the first innings and 2 wickets for 28 runs in the second innings; he also scored 10 runs in the first innings.
On 7 September 2021, he made his ODI debut against South Africa which was remarkable as he took a wicket on his first delivery and took 4 wickets for 37 runs in the match; he also scored 10 runs not out in the match. He helped Sri Lanka win the 2022 Asia Cup by taking 6 wickets for 162 runs in the tournament. He helped Sri Lanka to qualify for the 2023 ODI World Cup by taking 4 wickets for 25 runs in the match against Zimbabwe.
On 10 September 2021, he made his T20I debut against South Africa and took 1 wicket for 35 runs. On 20 October 2021, he took 3 wickets for 17 runs against Ireland.
T20 World Cup
Theekshana played 7 matches in the 2021 T20 World Cup and finished the tournament as the second-highest wicket-taker for Sri Lanka with 8 wickets.
Lanka Premier League (LPL)
Theekshana was not eligible to play in the first season of the Lanka Premier League (LPL) in 2020 as Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) had placed him in the supplementary category; however, former Sri Lankan captain Thisara Perera was impressed with his bowling abilities and requested Jaffna Stallions to find a way to include him in the squad.
Stallions management requested (SLC) to place Theekshana in the Emerging category which was complied with by SLC. Theekshana was acquired by Jaffna Stallions for the 2020 LPL season for $10,000. He played for Jaffna Kings in the 2021 LPL season and finished the season as the highest wicket-taker with 16 wickets. He was acquired by Jaffna Kings for the 2022 LPL season in the Diamond A group ($ 40,000; approx LKR 14 million). He played for them in the 2023 season as well.
Indian Premier League (IPL)
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) acquired Theekshana for the 2022 IPL season for Rs 70 lakhs against his base price of Rs 50 lakhs; he took 12 wickets in the tournament. He helped CSK win the 2023 IPL tournament by taking 11 wickets in the tournament.
Caribbean Premier League (CPL)
In July 2022, Trinbago Knight Riders signed him for the 2022 CPL season.
South Africa T20 League (SA20)
In August 2022, Johannesburg Super Kings signed him for the maiden SA20 season in 2023.
Bangladesh Premier League (BPL)
He played for Rangpur Riders in the 2023 BPL season.
Abu Dhabi T10 League
He played for Northern Warriors in the 2022 Abu Dhabi T10 season.
Maheesh Theekshana wears jersey number 61 for the national team of Sri Lanka and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in IPL.
- Became the youngest bowler to take a four-wicket haul in an IPL match on 12 April 2022 (At the age of 21 years 255 days)
In 2020, Maheesh Theekshana joined the Sri Lanka Army. He served as a Private in the Gajaba Regiment after completing his basic training. On 20 September 2022, he was elevated to the rank of Sergeant after Sri Lanka won the 2022 Asia Cup.
He owns a BMW 5 Series 530d M Sport.
- His batting style is right-handed, and his bowling style is right-arm off-break.
- Theekshana was unable to pay for his fees at St. Benedict’s College, hence St. Benedict’s Cricket Wing arranged funds for his fees with the help of Lucky Rogers, a cricket coach; however, later they recommended Theekshana to Sports Coordinator Rev. Br. Pravin Vaz (FSC), who further approached the school’s Director Rev. Br. Janaka Fonseka (FSC), who gave Theekshana a full scholarship.
- In March 2023, he signed up with BS Cricket Management.
- When Theekshana was signed up by Chennai Super Kings (CSK) for the 2022 IPL season, a few people protested against his selection as he has served in the Sri Lankan Army.
- In June 2022, he donated tissue vault, cell, and freezing bags to the Human Heart Valve and Tissue Bank at the Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children in Colombo, when Sri Lanka was in an economic crisis.
- He became viral during IPL 2023 when the speedometer showed his delivery’s speed as 152 kph during the match against Mumbai Indians which took the fans by surprise; however, it was later revealed that the bowling speed was an error.
- He is an animal lover and often visits wildlife parks.
- He is very popular for his celebration style of posing as an archer.
— Betway SA20 (@SA20_League) January 24, 2023