Sri Lanka selectors have recalled middle order batsman Angelo Perera and spin allrounder Wanindu Hasaranga for the ODI and T20 series of the Pakistan tour. As 10 senior players have refused to play in Pakistan citing security concerns, the selectors on Wednesday named Lahiru Thirimane and Dasun Shanaka as ODI and T20 captain respectively.
Apart from Angelo Perera and Wanindu Hasaranga, other promising internationals – Danushka Gunathilika, Oshada Fernando, Shehan Jayasuriya, Lakshan Sandakan and Lahiru Kumara – have also been named in the squad.
However, another high profile domestic player Ashan Priyanjan (Captain of powerful Colombo Cricket Club) has surprisingly not been included in both the squads by the politically influenced Chief selector Asantha De Mel (he is the sole decision maker in the selection committee, as others are only for formality). It’s big surprise, as the refusal of 10 players has presented Asantha De Mel the golden opportunity to pay back all his guardians, who gifted him second term as Chief selector, even after a disastrous previous tenure.
Sri Lanka and Pakistan are scheduled to play three ODI matches at Karachi National Stadium on September 27, 29 and October 2.
The decision to appoint Thirimane as ODI captain for the tour was taken after the refusal of senior players including regular captain Dimuth Karunaratne and Angelo Mathews. In addition, players like Dinesh Chandimal, who is anyway out of favour in all three formats currently, has also refused to participate in the three match series.
Thirimane, with 125 ODIs behind him, has been considered as a solid player for the format. He was part of Sri Lanka World Cup campaign and had played some useful knocks down the order.
Danushka Gunathilika, a dashing left-hander, has also been recalled for the series. After being ignored for world cup due to poor form, Gunathilika recently played in third T20I against New Zealand and scored
Oshada Fernando, meanwhile, will get another opportunity to showcase his immense talent. Certainly the find of Sri Lanka Cricket in 2019, Oshada was mysteriously discarded by Political influenced Chief selector Asantha De Mel forced world cup, even after making a sensational debut against South Africa earlier in the year.
After ODI series, Sri Lanka are scheduled to play three T20I matches on October 5, 7 and 9. Later, Sri Lanka will host Pakistan for two tests in late December.
Lahiru Thirimanne- Captain
Dasun Shanaka – Captain