Gunaratne returns as Sri Lanka name squad for T20 World Cup

ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023

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Sri Lanka Cricket have named a 15-member squad for the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup, set to be held in South Africa from the 10th – 26th of February.

17-year-old Vishmi Gunaratne, who has just returned from South Africa, having captained the U19 side in the inaugural Women’s U19 T20 World Cup, has returned to the side after missing the Asia Cup in October 2022 due to injury.

The youngster is among the three changes Sri Lanka have made to their Asia Cup squad, with all-rounder Ama Kanchana and Gunaratne coming in to replace leg-spinner Rashmi Silva and all-rounder Madushika Meththananda. Sathya Sandeepani was a late addition to the squad after former vice-captain Hasini Perera had to be withdrawn due to suffering an injury during training.

Sri Lanka have not played any international cricket since the Asia Cup, where they did well to reach the finals before going down to a dominant Indian side. With Head Coach Hashan Thilakaratne resigning following the campaign, the team have been training under former Sri Lanka Cap and renowned fast-bowling Coach Rumesh Ratnayake, who is a part of the coaching setup at the Sri Lanka Cricket High Performance Centre.

Southpaw Chamari Athapaththu will continue to lead the side and will have the experience of Oshadi Ranasinghe, Inoka Ranaweera and Nilakshi de Silva to bank on. They will be looking to pass the baton on to a promising group of youngsters in the line-up, including Harshitha Samarawickrama, Vishmi Gunaratne, Malsha Shehani and Kavisha Dilhari.

The Squad:

Chamari Athapaththu (Captain), Oshadi Ranasinghe, Harshitha Samarawickrama, Sathya Sandeepani, Nilakshi de Silva, Kavisha Dilhari, Anushka Sanjeewani, Kaushini Nuthyangana, Malsha Shehani, Inoka Ranaweera, Sugandika Kumari, Achini Kulasuriya, Vishmi Gunaratne, Tharika Sewwandi, Ama Kanchana

Sri Lanka are set to meet Ireland and West Indies in the pre-tournament warm-ups, before going up against hosts South Africa in the tournament opener on the 10th of February. They have been drawn in Group A, which also features defending ODI, T20I and Commonwealth Champions Australia, New Zealand, Bangladesh and the hosts.

Keep it logged on to ThePapare.com for all updates on Sri Lanka’s progress in the tournament.