Sharujan Shanmuganathan (Right) reprising Sanga’s trademark cover drive | (Pics by Thusith Wijedoru)

A shot at fame they say. Four years back, this became literally true for this nine-year-old prodigy.

In 2011, Sri Lanka was playing against Australia in a home Test series. At the time five-year-old Sharujan Shanmuganathan, along with his father went to witness the match. Even in the wildest of dreams, Shanmuganathan and his dad wouldn’t have expected that this event would turn his life.

As Kumar Sangakkara was batting, he hit a terrific cover drive. Commentator Tony Greig went in awe and praised ‘the cover drive’. But he wasn’t mentioning Sanga.

For around the same time when the Sri Lankan great was hitting that shot, cameras also caught Shanmuganathan reprising the same shot, with almost the same finesse, while he was playing simultaneously in the stands with his dad.

Greig commented, “That’s a little Kumar Sangakkara. Have a look at that,”

Four years hence, Shanmuganathan has not only become a star player in a junior club team, but also has celebrity fans like Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Martin Crowe.

His father even said that the Indian limited overs captain always demanded that the kid reprise the cover drive whenever he asked for an autograph.

The young prodigy comes from a humble background. His dad revealed that, as a tea plantation worker (now, a wedding photographer), he wasn’t able to afford good education for his son, but now a leading school offered him admission at a low fee.
Little Sanga has given new hope to the nation as the ‘older Sanga’ has hung up his boots. The future looks bright! (