Upul Chandana's career started to blossom in 2002 when he was asked to captain Sri Lanka A against Kenya. His batting gained a new authority and his bowling greater potency, as he topped both the batting and bowling averages in that unofficial Test series. A wonderfully supple fielder, capable of match-turning run-outs and sizzling airbourne catches, he was in and out of both the Test and one-day squads for a number of years before bedding down in the one-day team in mid-2003 after a match-winning innings at Bridgetown. His explosive qualities in the middle order made him an asset in the limited-overs game. But his bowling has also continued to improve, making him a better bet for Tests as well. Murali's withdrawal from the tour to Australia in 2004 put additional responsibility on him, and he responded well. As the year progressed, his legbreaks, traditionally nagging rather than explosive, started to fizz more venomously. More importantly, his line and length tightened up. By the end of the Asia Cup in 2004 he had become an important wicket-taker in the one-day team, but his form fell away and he was dropped late in 2005, making one rather unexpected one-day appearance in July 2007, retiring soon after. Chandana then joined the unofficial Indian Cricket League, playing for the Kolkata Tigers and ICL World XI. A ban on he and four other Sri Lankans was lifted in September 2008, meaning Chandana was free to play domestic cricket back home.
Charlie Austin September 2008