Sri Lanka Cricket: Late changes, new skipper ahead of T20 World Cup

Sri Lanka Cricket: Late changes, new skipper ahead of T20 World Cup

Sri Lanka Cricket: Late changes, new skipper ahead of T20 World Cup

Written by Tharushan Fernando

09 Mar, 2016 | 7:54 am

Sri Lankan cricket fans have been at the receiving end of a disappointing run since the departure of veterans, Mahela and Sangakkara.

A younger team headed with the likes of Chandimal, Angelo Mathews ,Dilshan and Malinga, have strived to get the performance up and running, but have come up short. While some are of the stance that it is not the team, but the ‘back-end’ of procedures that have failed, not only in finding replacements for the void (that was left by Mahela and Sanga) but finding players that will sync with the team as a whole, nor have they found the right combination of players.

Since Sri Lanka’s encounter with the Black Caps in 2015 December, the boys in blue have only managed to win three matches. With the T20 World Cup already underway, the defending champs had to make some major adjustments in order to have a fighting chance – and not put on dismissive show as they did in the Asia Cup in Bangladesh

Lasith Malinga has stepped down as Sri Lanka’s T20 captain but is to be a part of the squad while Angelo Mathew has been appointed skipper.

MUMBAI, INDIA - APRIL 02: Lasith Malinga of Sri Lanka celebrates the wicket of Sachin Tendulkar of India during the 2011 ICC World Cup Final between India and Sri Lanka at Wankhede Stadium on April 2, 2011 in Mumbai, India. (Photo by Hamish Blair/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Lasith Malinga

Malinga has been under much pressure with hopes of his return from a knee injury burdening the fast-bowler. He had handed Sri Lanka Cricket a letter voicing reservations about continuing as captain, as he could no longer guarantee participation in Sri Lanka’s full campaign.

Malinga’s action has always been his greatest enemy, exerting immense amount of pressure on the bowler’s knees and the overuse injury to his left knee had kept him out of competitive cricket for three months even though he made a brief comeback, playing one game in the Asia cup but has been sidelined since.

Lahiru ThirimanneLahiru Thirimanne, who was initially not in the squad has been brought back in, after his omission, causing quite a stir. The 26-year-old has been brilliant with the bat in the limited over games but has been slower to make his mark in the five-day format. Veteran and cricketing legends Kumar Sangakkara and Aravinda de Silva have publicly supported the Left-hander and now has been installed by selectors on Monday. Thriammane’s selection can be justified with his performances last year where he averaged 43.05 across 24 ODI innings. He had also made significant contributions to Sri Lanka’s 2014 World T20 campaign, specially in the semi-final against West Indies, where he top-scored with 44. Alongside a good track record in the more recent past, in the domestic form,(first-class cricket), having hit two centuries and a fifty in five innings over the span of one month.

Suranga Lakmal has been brought in to bolster the Sri Lankan pace. The 28-year-old comes into the international domain with a first-class victory in the Premier League Tournament as captain of his side. He has been riddled with injuries for parts of the domestic season but manged to take 19 wickets in the last four rounds of four-day matches.


sl squad

Sri Lanka’s squad for the World T20

Angelo Mathews (capt), Dushmantha Chameera, Dinesh Chandimal, Lahiru Thirimanne, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Rangana Herath, Shehan Jayasuriya, Chamara Kapugedera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga, Thisara Perera, Sachithra Senanayake, Dasun Shanaka, Milinda Siriwardana, Suranga Lakmal

In: Lahiru Thirimanne, Suranga Lakmal

Out: Niroshan Dickwella, Jeffrey Vandersay

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