Sri Lanka has announced their final squad for the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup, scheduled to take place in the UAE and Oman. Mystery spinner Maheesh Theekshana has been added to the squad alongside top-order batsmen Bhanuka Rajapaksa, and Kamindu Mendis.
Left-arm spinner Praveen Jayawickrama made it to the squad, along with the veteran seamer Nuwan Pradeep. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, teams are allowed to pick four stand-by players who will also travel with the 15-member squad in the UAE. Akila Dananjaya and left-arm seamer Binura Fernando are two of the four reserves which Sri Lanka have picked.
— Sri Lanka Cricket 🇱🇰 (@OfficialSLC) September 12, 2021
Meanwhile, there was no surprise with the squad as it was known that Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Mendis, and Danushka Gunathilaka, won’t be featured after breaking Covid protocols on the recent tour of England as they are banned for a year.
Angelo Matthew not a part of Sri Lanka’s T20 World Cup squad
On the other hand, Angelo Mathews isn’t a part of Sri Lanka’s contract list now and he is unavailable for selection as well. Theekshana, who bowls the carrom ball and googly along with off-spin quite effectively, has bagged a four-for on his ODI debut against South Africa in Colombo.
The youngster has also played 23 T20s, claiming 22 scalps at an average of 20.86. His best figures of 2 for 9 came against Sri Lanka Navy Sports Club in the Sri Lanka Cricket T20 tournament in March this year as well.
Meanwhile, Bhanuka Rajapksa and Kamindu Mendis have done well. Rajapaksa has played just eight T20Is so far, with his 48-ball 77 in Lahore against Pakistan in 2019 made headlines as well. Kamindu, who has played four T20Is till date, is known for his all-round abilities.
However, Sri Lanka will have to play the qualifiers, where they will face Namibia, Ireland, and the Netherlands. They will also feature in the two T20 internationals against Oman before the World Cup, on October 7 and 9 a swell.
Sri Lanka squad:
Dasun Shanaka (C), Dhananjaya de Silva, Avishka Fernando, Charith Asalanka, Kamindu Mendis, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Kusal Perera, Dinesh Chandimal, Wanindu Hasaranga, Chamika Karunaratne, Dushmantha Chameera, Maheesh Theekshana, Praveen Jayawickrama, Lahiru Madushanka, Nuwan Pradeep
Reserves: Pulina Tharanga, Lahiru Kumara, Binura Fernando, Akila Dananjaya