A bruising right-hander - though not without aptitude for deft touch - Avishka Fernando turned heads while representing St. Sebastian's College, Moratuwa, before making good on his promise at the national Under-19 level.
Fernando was making hundreds for his school's first XI before he was 14-years-old, and went on to become one of the school system's most prolific batsmen, hitting more than 1000 runs in the 2015 season. He was eventually picked for Sri Lanka's age-group teams, and made a hundred in his second Youth ODI innings, hitting 127 from 103 balls against visiting Australia Under 19s, in 2014.
It was after his bumper school season that Fernando really blossomed at the Under-19 level. He hit 95 from 96 balls in Sri Lanka's victory over England in the quarter-final of the 2016 Under-19 World Cup, and later in the year would hit two consecutive hundreds against the same opposition, this time in a bilateral series in England.
Those innings, which came in an unprecedented series whitewash for Sri Lanka Under-19s, earned Fernando a call-up to the national ODI team for the series against Australia, despite his not having played any List A or first-class cricket.
Andrew Fidel Fernando