Dasun Shanaka will lead a 15-member Sri Lankan squad for the upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021, scheduled to be held in the UAE and Oman in October-November this year, the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) announced on Sunday.
The islanders are slated to begin their campaign in the showpiece event on October 18 against Namibia in Abu Dhabi in Group A of the First Round.
In Group A, Sri Lanka have been drawn with drawn with Ireland and the Netherlands apart from Namibia.
The major absence from the Sri Lanka squad are Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Mendis and Danushka Gunathilaka, who all ahve been banned for a year for breaking the Covid-19 protocols during the side’s England tour in July this year.
With Kusal Perera’s return after an injury, Minod Bhanuka, who was keeping the wickets in Perera’s absence, also misses out.
Off-spinner Maheesh Theekshana, 21, who made his T20I debut in the first match against South Africa and dismissed Heinrich Klaasen, has been included.
The other spinners in the squad are left-armer Praveen Jayawickrema, who made his international debut earlier this year, and Wanindu Hasaranga.
Jayawickrema is the only uncapped member in the squad but has been included on the basis of his terrific performances in other formats. He had an excellent Test debut against Bangladesh in April, picking up 11 wickets in the match. He also has played five ODIs so far and picked up five wickets.
The fast bowling department will be led by Dushmantha Chameera along with veteran seamer Nuwan Pradeep and all-rounder Chamika Karunaratne.
They have also named four reserves, who will travel with the squad as injury cover — Lahiru Kumara, Binura Fernando, Akila Dananjaya and Pulina Tharanga.
Squad: Dasun Shanaka (c), Dhananjaya De Silva, Kusal Janith Perera, Dinesh Chandimal, Avishka Fernando, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Charith Asalanka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Kamindu Mendis, Chamika Karunaratne, Nuwan Pradeep, Dushmantha Chameera, Praveen Jayawickrema, Lahiru Madushanka, Maheesh Theekshana.
Reserves: Lahiru Kumara, Binura Fernando, Akila Dananjaya, Pulina Tharanga.