ICC World Cup Squad – Team Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka team announcement was full of shockers that no-one would have expected. The board dumped established stars including former captain Dinesh Chandimal to hand batsman Lahiru Thirimanne and leg-spinner Jeffrey Vandersay a place in its World Cup squad. Sri Lanka has been riven with personality clashes and disciplinary problems in recent years that have seen their world standing slump. Batsman Lahiru Thirimanne, leg-spinner Jeffrey Vandersay and all-rounders Milinda Siriwardana and Jeevan Mendis got places despite not playing an ODI for more than a year. Opening batsman Avishka Fernando and paceman Nuwan Pradeep were also included in the squad for the tournament which starts in England and Wales on May 30.
Players to look forward to:
One of the great limited-overs bowlers in his pomp, Lasith Malinga gained a reputation for delivering searing inswinging yorkers from a round-arm action as destructive as it was distinctive. It was Ramanayake who initially took interest in him, and with whom he developed the yorker that became the foundation of his career. The coach would glue a pair of shoes near the popping crease. Malinga would spend hours bowling at them. Malinga’s finest moment came during the 2014 World T20, in which he nominally captained the side through the knockouts but, more importantly, delivered a clinical final spell to muzzle the India middle order. Apart from that, his stint in the IPL with MI is well known. He was the captain of the ODI squad till the board decided to make Dimuth Karunaratne the captain
Angelo Mathews is one of Sri Lanka’s most prized assets and a figure on which the team hangs many hopes. He has risen quickly since earning wide acclaim with an acrobatic save in the 2009 World Twenty20, and in February 2013, became Sri Lanka’s youngest ever Test captain at 25, after having been groomed for the post for two years. In limited overs cricket, Mathews’ all-round skills are almost indispensable. When he pulled a quad in the World Cup semi-final in 2011, he forced three changes to the XI that played in the final, as the team strove for the balance he single-handedly delivers. He began his international career with ambitions of becoming a genuine allrounder, but has since given primacy to his batting, and effectively plays as a specialist batsman in the Test side. Mathews’ appointment to the captaincy has heralded a renewed focus on youth and development by the Sri Lanka selectors. Once a successful leader of the St. Joseph’s College side and the Sri Lanka Under-19 team, Mathews has been charged with ushering in a new age of Sri Lankan cricket.