By Bipin Dani
All-rounder Dasun Shanaka has been appointed captain of the Dambulla Viiking team, it was confirmed today.
However, according to highly placed sources in Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), the Dambulla team management was "seriously considering" appointing Ireland's 30-year-old batsman Paul Stirling to lead the side.
It is not known whether Stirling, who was on his way to Sri Lanka, had reached Hambantota yet, though one source said he had not checked into the hotel yet.
The final decision to appoint Shanaka as captain was taken on Wednesday morning, it is understood.
Shanaka is the Viiking's Icon Local player and was widely expected to lead the franchise, but team management were mulling over several ther names as well before deciding on the all-rounder.
According to sources, Stirling would likely miss a few matches.
New owners and management of the Dambulla Viiking team had also approached off-spinner Sachithra Senanayake to play for them.
Sources revealed that the 35-year-old right-arm off-break bowler got the first call a week ago when he had reached the airport to leave for Mauritius.
Senanayake and five other Sri Lankan players are now in Mauritius to play in a T10 League.
"I have received several calls that included a request from new coach Owais Shah but I am now committed to play here in the Mauritius T10 League," he said from his hotel room, where he is being quarantined.
The players were not required to obtain an NOC (No Objection Certificate) from the Sri Lanka Cricket SLC.
"This T10 League is not ICC sanctioned and hence didn't need to apply for an NOC," he further added.
"We are here quarantined for 14 days and not even go out from the rooms. Even the food is served here," he said.
After playing the tournament till December 15, players will reach Colombo on December 17. They will again be quarantined in Sri Lanka.