After New Zealand, Australia, India, Bangladesh and England, Sri Lanka is the latest team to announce its 15-member squad for the upcoming 2019 World Cup. The all-important 50-overs mega event will be kicking off with the opening game between hosts England and South Africa on May 30 in London. While the 1996 champions, Sri Lanka will be starting its World Cup campaign against New Zealand on June 1 in Cardiff.
Mathews recalled; Chandimal misses out
The most headlining point from the squad announcement is the inclusion of the experienced Sri Lankan campaigner, Angelo Mathews. The former Sri Lankan skipper has been out of the contention for quite a while with a left hamstring strain. After recovering from the injury, Mathews recently participated in the domestic one-day competition (Super Provincial One-day Cup), which also acted as a selection trial tournament for the World Cup probables. He compiled 227 runs from four innings which consists of a hundred and a fifty while playing for Dambulla in the domestic tournament.
Premier Test opener Dimuth Karunaratne will be leading the national side in the upcoming quadrennial event. He along with Avishka Fernando and Lahiru Thirimanne are the three openers. The Lankan selectors have persisted with the duo comprising of Kusal Mendis and Dhananjaya de Silva to come good in the middle-order, despite their struggles in the recent few series.
Kusal Perera returns to the side
Kusal Perera, who recently underwent treatment for his hamstring injury which he sustained during the recent Test series against South Africa, has been termed fit and will be donning the gloves in the upcoming mega event. Regular wicket-keeper batsman Niroshan Dickwella has missed out on the dream opportunity of playing his first World Cup due to recent slump in form.
The trio comprising of Thisara Perera, Jeevan Mendis and Milinda Siriwardana are the three all-rounders in the World Cup team. Lasith Malinga will lead the fast bowling attack which includes the likes of Nuwan Pradeep, Isuru Udana and Suranga Lakmal. Udana has performed sensationally well in the recently concluded limited-overs series against South Africa, which in turn helped him nail the World Cup spot. The pair of Jeffrey Vandersay and Akila Dananjaya are the two frontline spinners.
Sri Lanka will fine-tune preparations for the World Cup with two One Day Internationals against Scotland, on May 18 and 21 and will follow it up with warm-up fixtures against South Africa and Australia.
Sri Lanka’s 15-man preliminary squad for the 2019 World Cup
Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Avishka Fernando, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Perera (wk), Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva, Jeevan Mendis, Malinda Siriwardana, Angelo Mathews, Thisara Perera, Isuru Udana, Lasith Malinga, Suranga Lakmal, Jeffrey Vandersay, Nuwan Pradeep.