Allrounder Thisara Perera will lead a new-look, 16-man Sri Lankan squad that will play the T20I series against Pakistan starting next Thursday. The shake-up is the result of some first-choice players –
including the regular limited-overs captain Upul Tharanga – not wanting to go to Lahore, where the third match of the series is scheduled to take place.
Two days ago, the SLC chief selector Graeme Labrooy had confirmed that only those willing to play all of the T20s would be picked to play against Pakistan. That decision was taken by the board in consultation with the Sri Lankan sports ministry and the upshot of that was nine changes to the squad that last played India in September. Thisara is actually the sixth man to captain Sri Lanka this year, following Tharanga, Angelo Mathews, Rangana Herath, Dinesh Chandimal and Chamara Kapugedera.
Opener Danushka Gunathilaka regained his place after completing a suspension for a lethargic attitude towards training. Sadeera Samarawickrama, the 22-year old batsman who won his first Test and ODI caps on this tour, is in line to make to make his T20I debut. He was one of two uncapped players in the shortest format, alongside wicketkeeper Minod Bhanuka, who will be getting his first taste of any kind of international cricket. Sri Lanka have also recalled offspinner Mahela Udawatee, who has not played for them in eight years.
Sri Lanka squad: Thisara Perera (capt), Dilshan Munaweera, Danushka Gunathilaka, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Ashan Priyanjan, Mahela Udawatte, Dasun Shanaka, Minod Bhanuka (wk), Sachith Pathirana, Vikum Sanjaya, Lahiru Gamage, Seekkuge Prasanna, Vishwa Fernando, Isuru Udana, Jeffrey Vandersay and Chaturanga de Silva
More to follow
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