Exclusive! Sri Lanka added two more players in preliminary squad for Bangladesh ODIs after sending 22 players list to Sports Minister

Written by N Krishnamurthy

In a dramatic turn of events, Asantha De Mel led selection committee, on Thursday, added two more players in preliminary squad for the upcoming three match ODI series against Bangladesh after sending an enitial list of 22 players to Sports Ministry got the approval on July 15 itself, Cricket Age reliably learns.

Sri Lanka and Bangladesh to play three one-day internationals on July 26, 28 and 31 at the Premadasa International Stadium in Colombo.

Accordingly, on July 15, Sri Lanka Cricket Board (SLC) assistant secretary Crysantha Kapuwatha, after picking 22 members preliminary squad with Chief selector Asantha De Mel, had sent the list to Sports ministry for the approval.

However, yesterday, Asantha and his fellow selectors again met Crysantha and picked two more players, making it a 24 players preliminary squad.

Interestingly, at present, all the top officials of SLC – president Shammi Silva, Vice president Ravin Wickramaratne and secratary Mohan De Silva – are in UK for ICC meetings.

Cricket Age understand that any of the two players from Oshada Fernando, Pathum Nissanka and Angelo Perera have been added in preliminary squad.

Oshada Fernando, a technically correct top order batsman, had established himself as one of the most exciting prospect during the South Africa tour. However, he was mysteriously put on stand by for the World Cup, as high profile allrounders like Jeevan Mendis and Milinda Siriwardena were given preference.

Pathum Nissanka, meanwhile, has been a consistent performer in the domestic circuit and list A matches. Recently, he produced impressive knocks against during Sri Lanka’s Emerging team tour to South Africa. An opening batsman, Nissanka’s batting style reminds of Australian legend Ricky Ponting.

Angelo Perera, on the other hand, has been emerged as the most influential player in Sri Lanka cricket since December last year. He outsmarted young stars like Kamindu Mendis, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Wanindu Hasaranga to get a ticket for UK trip as stand by for the World Cup!

The preliminary squad to begin practice from July 19 after getting approval from Sports Minister (and it seems that now he will approve it).

Bangladesh will become the first team to tour Sri Lanka since the deadly Easter attacks in which 258 people were killed.

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N Krishnamurthy