Dasun Shanaka to lead Sri Lanka in ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023

ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023

ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023

All-rounder Dasun Shanaka is confirmed as the Captain of the Sri Lanka team for the upcoming ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023, which begins next month in India, ThePapare learns.

After Sri Lanka suffered an embarrassing defeat at the hands of India in the Final of the Asia Cup 2023, media reports emerged that Shanaka might step down from his position, following a lean patch with the bat. However, the cricket selection committee led by former fast bowler Pramodya Wickramasinghe has entrusted Shanaka with the job for the 10-team pinnacle event in 50-over cricket. Kusal Mendis, wicket-keeper batter, will be the vice-captain of the team.

Shanaka commenced 2023 with a brilliant century in Guwahati, but after that knock, he has only scored 150 runs in 17 innings, averaging less than 10 with the bat. Under Shanaka’s leadership, Sri Lanka won the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier earlier this year and advanced to the Final of the Asia Cup 2023. He has won 23 matches as Captain out of 37 ODIs.

Out of the 10 participating countries, only Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Bangladesh have not yet announced their squads for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup. As per ICC, all teams must finalize their 15-player squads prior to September 28, with any replacements after this date requiring approval from the ICC.

The Sri Lanka team is expected to leave the island on September 26 with their first warm-up match to be played against Bangladesh on September 29, followed by their second warm-up game on October 3. Sri Lanka will play warm-up games in Guwahati before moving base to Delhi to play their opening tournament match against South Africa on October 7.

As per media reports, the selectors convened a meeting today (20th September) to finalize the squad. Sri Lanka Cricket will announce the 15-member squad within the next couple of days even though there are question marks on the fitness levels of their leading bowlers such as Wanindu Hasaranga, Maheesh Theekshana, Dushmantha Chameera, Lahiru Kumara and Dilshan Madushanka over injury concerns. However, all five bowlers are expected to be fit for selection before the start of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup.

Hasaranga, Chameera, Madushanka and Kumara were rested during the recently concluded Asia Cup, whilst Theekshana missed the Final due to a hamstring strain despite playing the rest of the games.

Apart from Dasun’s confirmation as the captain, the selectors are believed to have decided on the extra batter in the squad, with one of Dimuth Karunaratne or Avishka Fernando to be picked in the 15-member squad.