One of the strongest teams of the Lanka Premier League 2020, the Jaffna Stallions will be led by dynamic all-rounder Thisara Perera.
The franchise is co-owned by a consortium led by British-Sri Lankan entrepreneur Brindon Bagirathan and Rahul Sood, CEO of Unikrn an esports betting and entertainment media company based in Seattle, USA.
As is their 22-member squad, the Stallions coaching contingent is also well rounded, led by former Sri Lanka batsman Thilina Kandambi and featuring Hemang Badani (Mentor), Mario Villavarayan (fast-bowling coach/trainer), Sachith Pathirana (Spin bowling coach) and Vimukthi Deshapriya (fielding coach). Interestingly, Kandambi captained the championship winning team at the last Sri Lankan franchise based T20 tournament, Uva Next, way back in 2012.
Squad Breakdown – Jaffna Stallions
Batsmen – Avishka Fernando, Johnson Charles, Shoaib Malik, Tom Moores, Minod Bhanuka, Charith Asalanka, Nuwanindu Fernando*
All-rounders – Thisara Perera, Wanindu de Silva, Dhananjaya de Silva, Thevendiram Dinoshan*
Spinners – Chathuranga de Silva, Maheesh Theekshana, Prabath Jayasuriya, Vijayakanth Viyaskanth
Fast bowlers – Usman Shinwari, Suranga Lakmal, Binura Fernando, Kyle Abbott, Duanne Olivier, Kanakaratnam Kapilraj*, Sebastianpillai Vijeyaraj*
The Stallions feature one of the most balanced units in the tournament. Despite the loss of the World Number 1 T20I batsman, Dawid Malan (due to scheduling conflicts) early on in the buildup to the tournament, the management has more than made up for the loss with a couple of inspired overseas buys.
The franchise will no doubt be one that all Sri Lankan fans follow closely, with a num,ber of young talents set to feature. Avishka Fernando, Minod Bhanuka and the supremely experienced Pakistani batsman Shoaib Malik are likely to be the backbone of the batting line-up with the hard-hitting West Indian Johnson Charles, Notts wicket-keeper batsman Tom Moores and promising right-hander Charith Asalanka providing backup.
The Stallions are spoilt for choice when it comes to the all-rounders, as the squad features 3 of Sri Lanka’s best, in Thisara Perera, Wanindu de Silva and Dhananjaya de Silva. Perera’s explosiveness is well known, while Dhananjaya would be the ideal man to strengthen the team’s middle order. Wanindu is one of the most promising young cricketers Sri Lanka has seen over the last 18 months or so and will be looking to build on his growing reputation as a finisher to add to his accurate leg-spin.
Suranga Lakmal will lead the fast-bowling stocks and with Duanne Olivier, Usman Shinwari and Kyle Abbott having been roped in, he will not be short of support, be in the death or with the new ball. Left arm spinners Chathuranga de Silva and Prabath Jayasuriya will likely battle it out for a spot in the playing XI, but it would also be interesting to see if leg-spinner Vijayakanth Viyaskanth, one of the few players in the squad from Jaffna, gets a go in the middle.
All attention will be on the two leading all-rounders, Captain Thisara Perera and Wanindu Hasaranga, to fire with both bat and ball and it will be interesting to see where the pair fit into the batting line-up, with Wanindu in particular showing that he is more than capable with the bat. Perera too will be vital to Jaffna’s chances, particularly with his death bowling experience. Avishka Fernando is another to keep an eye on as he will be tasked with getting the team off to fliers.
Charith Asalanka could be one of the breakout stars for Stallions, as one of the youngsters earmarked to make it to the international stage sometime in the future. Kanakaratnam Kapilraj, Sebastianpillai Vijeyaraj and Thevendiram Dinoshan are all exciting talents about whom not much is known, but will no doubt be looking to make the most of their time with the Jaffna squad.
Despite not having any real global T20 superstars in terms of international signings, the Stallions management picks are all experienced and match-fit players, who have had some sort of cricket through 2020. Add to this a promising group of locals at their disposal and the Stallions seem like the team to beat at LPL 2020.