Sri Lanka have unveiled their 15-member CWC23 squad
Abig blow to Sri Lanka’s World Cup hopes as they will be without the services of their top spinner for the entirety of the tournament.
Sri Lanka announced their 15-member squad on Tuesday, 26 September, just two days before ICC’s cut-off date. Dasun Shanaka leads the side, with Kusal Mendis as his deputy.
The biggest news, however, out of the Sri Lanka camp is the absence of their star spinner Wanindu Hasaranga, who has been ruled out with a hamstring injury.
The leg-spinner sustained a thigh strain during last month’s playoffs of the Lankan Premier League, where he concluded the tournament as the top run-scorer with 279 runs and the leading wicket-taker with 19 wickets. The injury subsequently ruled the spinner out of the Asia Cup.
Earlier SLC had given a statement of doing all that they possibly can to ensure Hasaranga’s participation. However, they had also indicated the possibility of Hasaranga missing out on cricket for at least three months in case of a surgery.
Hasaranga was a vital component during the World Cup Qualifiers held in June and July, where Sri Lanka emerged victorious, securing their spot in the main event in India. He topped the tournament’s wicket-takers chart with an impressive 22 wickets in just seven games.
Among other players, pacer Dushmantha Chameera has failed to recover from his shoulder injury and doesn’t make the squad. On the other hand, the good news is that both Dilshan Madushanka and Lahiru Kumara are back in the squad after missing the Asia Cup.
Madushanka had suffered from an oblique muscle tear during a practice game ahead of the Asia Cup while Lahiru Kumara had missed cricketing action due to a recurring side strain.
Despite Hasaranga and Chameera’s loss, Sri Lanka carry a fairly balanced side to the global event.
Pathum Nissanka, Dimuth Karunaratne, and Kusal Mendis take the helm of the top-order. The middle-order will feature Sadeera Samarawickrama, Kusal Perera, Charith Asalanka and Dhananjaya de Silva.
The side is brimming with all-round prospects, with skipper Shanaka leading the way. Dhananjaya, Dunith Wellalage and Asalanka are the other options.
The pace department enjoys the presence of Kasun Rajitha, Dilshan Madushanka, Lahiru Kumara and rising star Matheesha Pathirana. The spin attack will be led by Maheesh Theekshana, with support from Wellalage, Dhananjaya among others.
Sri Lanka Squad: Dasun Shanaka (c), Kusal Mendis (vc), Kusal Perera, Pathum Nissanka, Dimuth Karunaratne, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dushan Hemantha, Maheesh Theekshana, Dunith Wellalage, Kasun Rajitha, Matheesha Pathirana, Lahiru Kumara, Dilshan Madushanka
Travelling reserve: Chamika Karunaratne
Sri Lanka will play two warm-up games ahead of the World Cup against Bangladesh on 29 September and Afghanistan on 2 October. They will play their tournament opener on 7 October against South Africa at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi.