Kandamby, Tharanga, Mathews, Prasad get promotions from “A” team
Sri Lanka team will be without the senior players Sanath Jayasuriya, Chaminda Vaas, T.M. Dilshan and Chamara Silva as they leave for a tour of Zimbabwe to play five One Day Internationals next month.
Jayasuriya and Vaas who had opted out of the tour citing personal reasons were not available for selection while all rounder Dilshan has been dropped from the side but remains as a stand-by along with left arm paceman Chanaka Welagedara.
Selectors who met last morning had reportedly kept Dilshan on stand by fearing the fitness Kumar Sangakkara, as there is no reserve wicket keeper in the squad. Sangakkara who underwent a surgery on his right index finger in early September had initially been advised by the doctors to rest for two and a half months. Selectors were not to consider him, but Sangakkara had declared that he is fit and declared his availability for the Zimbabwe tour and was an automatic choice. Dilshan kept wickets in Sangakkara’s absence at the recent Toronto Twnety20 tournament.
Chamara Silva who was not in the best form this year has also been dropped.
Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Media Manager Shane Fernando said that Jayasuriya had submitted a letter to SLC informing he is unavailable for the tour as he has been invited to represent a World All Star team at the forthcoming Hong Sixes and has also been contracted to play the South African domestic cricket season for Nashua Dolphins.
Vaas had requested National Selection Committee Chairman Asantha de Mel not to consider him for the tour, according to Fernando.
Opener Upul Tharanga who was dropped from the side after a lean period with the bat makes a comeback into the team following a highly successful “A” team tour to South Africa last month when he was in terrific form.
Also making the national team after four years is talented left hander Thilina Kandamby, the Sri Lanka “A” team captain who was also in magnificent form in South Africa.
The other player to make the grade from “A” team is promising all rounder Angelo Matthews who was in great form in the tests in South Africa but did not impress in the one dayers, posing a question mark on his selection over two highly skilled all rounders Kaushalya Weeraratne and Dilhara Lokuhettige. Weeraratne and Lokuhettige have been in impressive form lately and performed creditably in the Toronto Twenty20 tournament but have been dropped mysteriously.
Also making a comeback to the side is veteran Muttiah Muralitharan after being rested for the Toronto tournament.
There are six pacemen in the squad but there are allegedly some doubts over the full match fitness of Dilhara Fernando, who was not to be seen in the best of fitness in Toronto.
The team: Mahela Jayewardene (Capt), Kumar Sangakkara (V-Captain), Mahela Udawatte, Chamara Kapugedera, Jehan Mubarak, Thilina Kandamby, Upul Tharanga, Farveez Maharoof, Thilina Thushara Mirando, Nuwan Kulasekera, Ajantha Mendis, Dilhara Fernando, M. Muralitharan, Angelo Mathews, Dhammika Prasad
Stand byes: T.M.Dilshan, Chanaka Welagedara
Officials: Nishantha Ranatunga – Manager, Trevor Bayliss – Coach, Paul Farbrace – Assistant Coach, Ranjith Nanayakkarawasam – Physiotherapist, Jade Roberts – Trainer, Nalin De Alwis- Computer Analyst, Lal Thamel- Masseur