The Sri Lanka Cricket Selection Committee on Tuesday unveiled a 16-member squad led by Wanindu Hasaranga for the upcoming three-match T20I series against Zimbabwe.
The leg-spin bowling all-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga, known for his game-changing abilities, is set to lead the team as it embarks on a journey to fine-tune their skills for the highly anticipated 2024 Men’s T20 World Cup in the West Indies and the USA.
Charith Asalanka was named as the vice-captain, adding a youthful and dynamic flavour to the leadership team.
The return of seasoned campaigner Angelo Mathews to the T20I side added experience and depth to the squad. Mathews, who was left out of the ODI squad, was added to the T20I squad once again, bringing a wealth of knowledge and skill to the team’s arsenal.
As the selectors announced the final squad, the fate of several players was revealed. Binura Fernando, Pramod Madushan, Jeffrey Vandersay, Chamika Karunaratne, Dunith Wellalage, and Bhanuka Rajapaksa, who were part of the preliminary 22-member squad, were released, leaving the chosen 16 to carry the hopes of the nation.
One name that sparked intrigue and hope was Pathum Nissanka, who, despite succumbing to a suspected case of dengue during the ODI series, found himself added to the T20I squad. The optimism surrounding his participation was, however, contingent on his fitness, adding a layer of suspense to the team dynamics.
The hosts will be playing all of their T20I matches from January 14-18 at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.
Sri Lanka 16-member T20I squad against Zimbabwe: Wanindu Hasaranga (c), Charith Asalanka (vc), Kusal Mendis, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Kusal Janith Perera, Angelo Mathews, Dasun Shanaka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Kamindu Mendis, Pathum Nissanka – subject to fitness, Maheesh Theekshana, Dushmantha Chameera, Dilshan Madushanka, Matheesha Pathirana, Nuwan Thushara, Akila Dananjaya