A prolific run-getter for Ananda College, Mahela Udawatte's talents as a top-order batsman were not immediately recognised when he was overlooked for the Sri Lankan Under-19 team in 2003 despite scoring more than 1000 runs for his school that season. He got his break after he joined Chilaw Marians SC straight after school. Promoted to open the batting - he had batted at No. 3 at school - he reeled off three hundreds in five matches in the 2004-05 U-23 tournament, and was rewarded with a place in the Development Squad. He soon made it into the A team for the tour to England in 2007 after top-scoring for his club in the Premier final against SSC in 2005-06, making 67 out of 172 against an attack which included Dilhara Fernando and Nuwan Zoysa. A powerful and attacking batsman who likes to take on the quick bowlers, Udawatte is seen as a future prospect for the Sri Lanka one-day side, perhaps as a replacement for Sanath Jayasuriya. Rated highly by experts in Sri Lanka, including Mahela Jayawardene, Udawatte earned a call-up to the national squad for the tour of West Indies in 2008 and was later included in the probables for the Champions Trophy.
Sa'adi Thawfeeq for Cricinfo.com