Dimuth returns to lead ODI, Test sides; Shanaka new T20I captain

Monday, 22 February 2021 00:09 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Dimuth Karunaratne
Dasun Shanaka

Dimuth Karunaratne returns to lead the Sri Lanka One-Day and Test sides on their tour of the Caribbean following an injured thumb injury sustained during the Test series in South Africa while all-rounder Dasun Shanaka has been appointed captain of the Sri Lanka T20I team, succeeding Lasith Malinga, who has, since his last appointment to the post, fared poorly, with Sri Lanka losing all eight matches.

Malinga has not figured in any matches for Sri Lanka since the West Indies home series in March last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and quite recently announced he was retiring from franchise cricket.

While Karunaratne’s return to the helm was expected, Shanaka, who has been waiting patiently on the sidelines after leading the country to a stunning 3-0 whitewash of Pakistan, then the no. 1 ranked T20I side in October 2019, gets the deserved appointment.

A squad of 20 players has been selected by two members of the former selection committee, Pramodya Wickramasinghe and Chaminda Mendis, and the names have been sent to the Sports Minister for ratification.

The squad for the Test side is to be picked at the end of the month in order to allow injured players like Dhananjaya de Silva and Lahiru Thirimanne the opportunity to undergo a fitness test and be available for selection.

The selectors have already listed a number of players for the Test squad to undergo practice with the red Duke ball in preparation for the two Tests against the West Indies. Among the players are Thirimanne, Dhananjaya de Silva, Roshane Silva and Vishwa Fernando.

Most probably about 11 of the 20 players who will leave for the T20Is and ODIs on 23 February will stay back in the West Indies for the Test series also. The selectors will have to select another six to seven Test players to join them making a squad of 18 for the Tests. These players will leave for the West Indies on 7 March so that they have enough time to undergo the mandatory quarantine period. The white ball players who won’t figure in the Test series will return after the T20I and ODI series.  

The T20Is will be played on 3, 5 and 7 March; the ODIs on 10, 12 and 14 March; and the two Tests from 17-25 March, and from 29 March to 2 April. All the matches will be played at Antigua. (ST)


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