A batting allrounder with powerful shots square of the wicket, Asela Gunaratne put together several impressive seasons for Sri Lanka Army Sports Club before eventually being considered for higher honours in 2016. Though not an immediately eye-catching player, it was his consistency that impressed: batting in the middle order, Gunaratne averaged more than 50 in three of the four Premier League Tournaments between 2012 and 2016. A wide range of strokes, including his favoured reverse sweep, had also helped his case.
He was a sporadic performer when chosen in the A side, yet was immediately effective in Tests, hitting a fifty and a hundred in his first three international innings, against Zimbabwe. With Angelo Mathews ruled out of that tour, Gunaratne also earned a place in the ODI squad, and made an impact with his dibbly-dobbly slow-medium bowling, claiming eight wickets at an average of 14.5 as Sri Lanka won the tri-nations trophy in Zimbabwe, in November 2016. He had an impact in the shortest format too, helping Sri Lanka claim a T20 series in Australia in February 2017 by knocking off 84 in 46 balls in Geelong - three consecutive sixes in the penultimate over included, in a chase of 174.
A graduate of Sri Rahula College Kandy, Gunaratne has also served as a Bombardier in the Sri Lanka Army.