Player: (Sri Lanka: 1993-2004), Umpire: (2009 - present)
Sri Lanka’s Kumar Dharmasena enjoyed an 11-year international career before making the switch to umpiring, having been promoted to the Elite Panel of ICC Umpires in 2011. He joined the MCC World Cricket committee in 2017.
Born in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo in 1971, Dharmasena made his Test match debut as a 22 year-old against South Africa at the Sinhalese Sports Club Ground in the city. He was deployed mainly as an off-spinner throughout his career, but forged a secondary role as a more than useful middle-order batsman.
His Test match career was sporadic, playing 31 matches across eleven years, but it was in One-Day International cricket that he really excelled. He played 141 matches, debuting against Pakistan at the Premadasa in Colombo in 1994, with his final match coming a decade later against Australia at the same venue.
He took 138 wickets for Sri Lanka in ODI cricket, which places him in ninth position in their all-time wicket-taking list, with his best of 4 for 37 coming against South Africa in Port Elizabeth in 1994. He also hit 1,222 runs in the white-ball format, with his unbeaten 69 against the Proteas at Lahore in 1997 his highest score.
His Test career, although comprising less games than his ODI career, still yielded 69 wickets, with his best innings return of 6 for 72 coming in a crushing victory over New Zealand at Galle in 1998.
Dharmasena called time on his playing career in 2006 and made the move into umpiring. He made his international debut as an official in 2009, in an ODI between his home country Sri Lanka and India in Dambulla. His Test bow as an umpire came between India and New Zealand a year later.
He was elected to the ICC’s Elite Panel of Umpires in 2011 and has now stood in over 150 international matches across all three formats of the game, and was awarded the David Shepherd trophy for the Umpire of the Year at the ICC Awards ceremony in his home city of Colombo in 2012.