The Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has announced veteran all-rounder, Angelo Mathews as the stand-in captain for the T20I series in the West Indies as Dasun Shanaka, the newly appointed skipper, could not join the team on scheduled departure time because of a delay in obtaining a US transit visa.
Dasun Shanaka was recently appointed the captain of the T20I team, replacing Lasith Malinga – unfortunately the 29-year-old is almost certain to miss the short-format series against West Indies as he could not board the plane to the for the Caribbean with the entire squad.
Dasun Shanaka lost his passport two years ago
As per the latest reports, Shanaka’s visa is in process and he is yet to receive it. He did have a proper US transit visa – valid for five years – on a previous passport. However, he had lost that passport two years ago. The visa officers told him they must do additional checks, rendering him unable to fly with the squad.
“I’d lost that passport two years ago, so I think they need to check whether anyone has used that lost passport and visa to travel in the time since.
“And there was also a delay in my submitting my visa application this time because the team had to isolate after Thiri aiya (Lahiru Thirimanne) tested positive for Covid-19. I missed my initial appointment and had to take a later appointment,” Dasun Shanaka told ESPNcricinfo.
The right-hander will join the team once the issue is resolved, but will miss the T20I series as he had to undergo mandatory quarantine on landing. Mathews has previously captained Sri Lanka in 34 Tests, 106 ODIs, and 13 T20Is. The 3-match T20I series commences on March 3rd in Antigua followed by 3 ODIs and a 2-match Test series.
Sri Lanka’s last T20I assignment was in March last year against the same opposition, where they were whitewashed 2-0 by Kieron Pollard’s team at home. Indeed, the Islanders have lost their last three T20I series.
Another setback for the travellers is that of missing speedster Lahiru Kumara, who tested positive for Covid-19 days before departure for the West Indies.
West Indies have announced a 14-man strong squad as several big guns such as Chris Gayle are back in the T20 side in view of the T20 World Cup later this year.
Fidel Edwards is recalled to the side after 9 years, on the other hand, Sheldon Cottrell, Oshane Thomas, Shimron Hetmyer, and Roston Chase miss out after failing to meet the required fitness standards. Andre Russell has recovered from COVID-19 but will miss the series and Sunil Narine had made himself unavailable for the national team currently.