Sri Lanka’s premier Test fast bowler, Suranga Lakmal has been added to the 16-man T20I squad to face South Africa in the country’s upcoming 3-match series which will begin on the 19th of March.
Lakmal was left out of the 5-match ODI series against the Proteas, but has earned a recall into the squad to strengthen the bowling line-up, which has looked largely toothless against the Proteas in the limited over games so far.
The management of Sri Lanka Cricket has decided to ask Sri Lanka Men’s Cricket team Head coach Chandika Hathurusinghe to return to
Lakmal will be joined by Sadeera Samarawickrama, Asitha Fernando and Jeffrey Vandersay on the plane to South Africa, while Upul Tharanga, Kusal Janith Perera, Oshada Fernando, Vishwa Fernando and Kasun Rajitha will return to the island after the 5th ODI this Saturday (16th).
Dasun Shanaka is a notable absentee from the squad – the all-rounder who had showed some promise in the limited overs leg against England in Sri Lanka, saw himself being sidelined in the following tour of New Zealand and eventually dropped altogether for the ODIs and now T20Is against South Africa.
Former Captains Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal have not been considered for the T20Is, despite appearing in the Domestic 50-over championship for Colts CC and NCC respectively.
Isuru Udana, who showed some promise in the 4th ODI – particularly with the bat – has been retained for the T20Is, as have Priyamal Perera, Avishka Fernando and Angelo Perera.
Asitha Fernando, who has played just 1 ODI for Sri Lanka in the past, has also earned a call-up to the T20I squad and could make his debut against the Proteas in the coming week after a promising performance for NCC at the SLC Major One Day Tournament.
The Squad – Lasith Malinga – Captain, Niroshan Dickwella – Vice Captain, Avishka Fernando, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Perera, Dhananjaya De Silva, Kamindu Mendis, Priyamal Perera, Thisara Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Isuru Udana, Asitha Fernando, Akila Dananjaya, Jeffrey Vandersay, Lakshan Sandakan
Sri Lanka will play 3 T20Is against the Proteas, at Newlands, Cape Town, Super Sport Park, Centurion and The Wanderers, Johannesburg.