Sri Lanka name star-studded squad for ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2024 - Wanindu to lead

Thursday, 09 May 2024 - 20:02

All-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga will lead an experienced Sri Lanka outfit for the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2024.

Hasaranga, who was named as the Sri Lanka T20I captain in December last year, will lead the team in the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2024 in West Indies and USA. Middle-order batter Charith Asalanka has been named as his deputy.

Left-arm spinning allrounder Dunith Wellalage has made Sri Lanka's squad for the 2024 T20 World Cup despite never having played a T20 international. Top-order batter Kamindu Mendis, and round-arm seamer Nuwan Thushara are also in the 15.

From the older cohort, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, and Dasun Shanaka also find places in the squad.

Wanindu Hasaranga, who missed the IPL with a long-standing heel injury, largely so he would be fit for the World Cup, made his return to competitive cricket in the ongoing practice matches in Sri Lanka, where he has batted in the first two matches but not bowled.

Missing out are players like opening batter Avishka Fernando, left-arm seamer Binura Fernando, and batter Kusal Perera. Avishka had modest performances on the tour of Bangladesh in March, Kusal Perera had not impressed selectors after a long injury layoff, and Binura has been outperformed by Thushara, who took 5 for 20 including a hat-trick in his last international outing.

Sri Lanka have banked on the experience of veteran Angelo Mathews, who returned to the T20I setup earlier this year in January after an absence of nearly three years. This will be Mathews' sixth T20 World Cup appearance, as he was part of Sri Lanka's victorious campaign in 2014.

Sri Lanka squad: Wanindu Hasaranga (c), Charith Asalanka (vc), Kusal Mendis, Pathum Nissanka, Kamindu Mendis, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Angelo Mathews, Dasun Shanaka, Dhananjaya De Silva, Maheesh Theekshana, Dunith Wellalage, Dushmantha Chameera, Nuwan Thushara, Matheesha Pathirana, and Dilshan Madushanka

Traveling Reserves: Asitha Fernando, Vijayakanth Viyaskanth, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, and Janith Liyanage.

There will be leadership experience aplenty in the Sri Lanka setup, with former limited overs skipper Dasun Shanaka also in the mix along with Kusal Mendis (current ODI captain) and Dhananjaya de Silva (current Test captain).

With an emphasis on balance, Sri Lanka have picked multiple all-round options in their squad. Skipper Hasaranga himself is among the spin-bowling all-rounders, along with Dunith Wellalage, Dhananjaya de Silva, and Kamindu Mendis. Mathews and Shanaka are the two dependable pace-bowling all-round options in the squad.

Matheesha Pathirana and Nuwan Thushara, with their slinging bowling action reminiscent of Lasith Malinga, brings the X-factor to Sri Lanka's pace attack spearheaded by Dushmantha Chameera and Dilshan Madushanka.

Sri Lanka are placed in Group D alongside South Africa, Bangladesh, Netherlands and Nepal. They begin their T20 World Cup campaign on 3 June against South Africa in New York.

Apart from the core 15-member squad, Sri Lanka have also named four players as traveling reserves: Asitha Fernando, Vijayakanth Viyaskanth, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, and Janith Liyanage.

Teams have until 25 May to make changes to their squads, after which any alteration will require approval from ICC's Event Technical Committee.

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