Sri Lankan batsman Thilan Samaraweera has been named as the Cricket World® Player Of The Week after his achievement of scoring two double-centuries in two matches before Sri Lanka's tour of Pakistan was curtailed due to the terrorist attacks in Lahore.
Samaraweera is on the road to recovery following surgery to a leg injury sustained in the shootings but prior to the events of March 3rd, he stroked 231 in Karachi and then 214 in Lahore, the latter knock occupying 338 balls and containing 32 fours.
He joined compatriot Kumar Sangakkara, Sir Don Bradman, Walter Hammond, Graeme Smith and Vinod Kambli, becoming the sixth man to his two double-centuries in consecutive Tests.
Bradman and Hammond achieved the feat on two separate occasions.
Samaraweera's stunning run of form, which has seen him hit four centuries and five half-centuries in the last 12 months, has ensured a rapid rise in the - he is now second only to India's Gautam Gambhir in the batting rankings while his overall ranking is a very respectable seventh - all the more impressive seeing as his off-spin is hardly called on any more, bowling just two overs in the last four years.
"Thilan Samaraweera has been scoring important runs since returning to the side and has become a vital part of Sri Lanka's middle order," commented Cricket World® Editor John Pennington. "All of us at Cricket World® hope he makes a speedy and complete recovery following his injury in Lahore."
Other contenders for the weekly award were Phillip Hughes, who scored two centuries in an innings in just his second Test for Austraila against South Africa, Sachin Tendulkar for his stunning innings in Christchurch and Andrew Strauss for scoring his third Test century of the series in the West Indies.
The Player Of The Week award is decided by the Cricket World® Editorial Team on a Monday morning following a review of the week's matches.
© Cricket World 2009