Dinesh Chandimal back in the ODI sqaud
by Champika Fernando
Sri Lanka’s new cricket coach Chandika Hathurusingha wants to spend some ‘quality time’ with the players ahead of team’s tour to Bangladesh early next month and has asked a selected group of cricketers to attend a special training program.
Sri Lanka set to play a tri-series involving hosts Bangladesh and Zimbabwe starting on January 15. The tri-series will be followed by a two Tests and two T20 matches against Bangladesh. Series will be Hathurusingha’s maiden tour as head coach of the Sri Lanka national side.
Accordingly the national selectors have picked a pool of 23 cricketers and have asked all of them to refrain from featuring in the ongoing domestic cricket tournament on the request of the new coach.
“The players were asked not to play domestic cricket following a request made by the Head Coach Chandika Hathurusingha and we complied with that,” said SLC President Thilanga Sumathipala.
Board says the training session will start on December 28 but the venue and time is yet to be finalised. Out of the 23, eight will be discarded before leaving to Bangladesh.
The 23-member squad does see some changes. The selectors have finally run out of patience with Lahiru Thirimanna. After a miserable series in India, he has been excluded from the squad. However Test skipper Dinesh Chandimal is back in the squad, having being omitted from the current series against India.
Angelo Mathews finds his place secured in the side, even though it’s not clear whether the former skipper will recover in time from the hamstring injury. During Friday’s second T20, Mathews suffered grade one hamstring tear and has been ruled out for at least two weeks.
Also back in the side is Lahiru Kumara, seamer who did not make the Indian tour. The only uncapped player in the squad is Shehan Madushanka--a 22-year old right-arm quick.
Squad: Thisara Perera, Upul Tharanga, Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal, Angelo Mathews, Kusal Perera, Asela Gunaratne, Niroshan Dickwella, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep, Dasun Shanaka, Lahiru Gamage, Vishwa Fernando, Dushmantha Chameera, Shehan Madushanka, Lahiru Kumara, Akila Dananjaya, Jeffrey Vandersay, Amila Aponso, Lakshan Sandakan, Chaturanga De Silva