Yesterday Srilankan board announced Dimuth Karunaratne as the captain of the ODI team and today the board has revealed the final squad of Sri Lanka for ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 starting May 30th. The official announcement was made on Srilankan Cricket Board’s Twitter account as well.
The board tweeted a picture of the confirmed 15 for the mega tournament.
— Sri Lanka Cricket (@OfficialSLC) April 18, 2019
Here’s the full squad:
- Dimuth Karunaratne (c)
- Avishka Fernando
- ]Lahiru Thirimanne
- Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis
- Angelo Mathews
- Dhananjaya de Silva
- Jeffery Vandersay
- Thisara Perera
- Isuru Udana
- Lasith Malinga
- Suranga Lakmal
- Nuwan Pradeep
- Jeevan Mendis
- Milinda Siriwardana
The 31-year-old Karunaratne will lead the team in the tournament. Surprisingly, he hasn’t played a single ODI since the 2015 World Cup and has only featured in 17 ODIs and averages 15.83 with a high score of 60. He replaced veteran bowler Lasith Malinga who had captained the team during the 0-5 loss to South Africa in the ODI series. Although Malinga is part of the squad, he has been sacked from his role of captain after a dismal performance against Proteas.
Experienced players out of the squad
The Sri Lankan board made some strange choices for World Cup squad as many experienced players were thrown out of the team. These include Niroshan Dickwella, Akila Dananjaya, Danushka Gunathilaka, Upul Tharanga and Dinesh Chandimal.
Out of all the axed players, the exit of Chandimal is the most shocking as he is considered to be a crucial player for Srilanka and has even led the team previously. His experience could have added strength to the team but the management decided otherwise. The former limited-overs captain and hard-hitting batsman Upul Tharanga is also left out this time which came out as a big surprise too.
While key players will miss out the biggest cricketing event of the season, some former players have made a remarkable comeback into the team. Milinda Siriwardana, Jeffrey Vandersay, and Jeevan Mendis have successfully re-entered the team. Cricket pundits find this entry rather odd because Siriwardana and Vandersay last played one-day internationals in October 2017, while Jeevan Mendis’s previous appearance in the format came in the 2015 World Cup match against Afghanistan.
After looking at the squad one is not quite sure if this is the best choice or not because on paper this squad definitely looks incomplete. But who knows Sri Lanka may be ready to give us a complete surprise this time.