SRI LANKA NAMED WHITE BALL SQUAD FOR WINDIES TOUR

Fast bowler, Suranga Lakmal will replace COVID19-positive fast bowler, Lahiru Kumara in the white-ball leg of Sri Lanka’s upcoming Cricket tour of the West Indies.

Kumara was a part of the 20-member squad originally picked by the Sri Lanka Cricket board and approved by the country’s sports ministry, but returned a positive test ahead of departure that ruled him out of the limited-overs series.

Meanwhile, Lakmal returns after having last played a limited-overs game for Sri Lanka on their 2019 tour of South Africa.

Sri Lanka national selection panel has opted for split captaincy and Dimuth Karunaratne will hand-over the leadership duties to Dasun Shanaka, who has been appointed Sri Lanka’s new Twenty/20 International skipper.

The Squad is: Dimuth Karunaratne (Captain), Dasun Shanaka, Danushka Gunathilake, Pathum Nissanka, Ashen Bandara, Oshada Fernando, Dinesh Chandimal, Angelo Mathews, Niroshan Dickwella, Thisara Perera, Kamindu Mendis, Wanindu Hasaranga, Ramesh Mendis, Nuwan Pradeep, Asitha Fernando, Dushmantha Chameera, Akila Dananajaya, Lakshan Sandakan, Dilshan Madushanka, Suranga Lakmal.

Sri Lanka are visiting West Indies for a full tour, comprising three Twenty/20 Internationals, beginning 3rd March. The One Day Internationals follow, on 10th, 12th and 14th March and the tour concludes with two Tests, the squad for which will be announced in due course. All games, including a two-day practice match best the Tests, will be played in Antigua and Barbuda.

A delay in processing his transit visa to the United States of America has meant that Sri Lanka’s new Twenty/20 International captain DA-SUN – SHA-NA-KA was unable to leave for the Caribbean with the remainder of the squad on Monday.

SHA-NA-KA did have a proper US transit visa valid for five years on a previous passport, but as he had lost the passport containing that visa two years ago, visa officers for the US have told him they must do additional checks, meaning they were not able to greenlight the visa for this tour in time for him to make the flight.

Although the wording of a Sri Lanka Cricket release suggests Shanaka did not make the flight because he had lost his passport recently, Shanaka himself suggested the delay was largely unavoidable. In any case, it is hoped that he receives his US visa over the next few days, and could potentially fly out to the West Indies as early as Friday.

However, even if he arrives in Antigua – where Sri Lanka play their T20I series – ahead of March 3, when the first game is scheduled, it is not clear if he will be available to play, as he will need to undergo quarantine.

Shanaka was named Sri Lanka’s T20I captain on Monday, with a view to him leading the side in the T20 World Cup later this year. But it is now possible he will miss part of his first assignment as the permanent leader [he had been stand-in captain for one previous series].