Sri Lanka has named the 16 member squad for the upcoming Asia Cup 2018 slated to be played in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) later in the month. The biggest surprise came when veteran fast bowler Lasith Malinga was included in the 16-member squad. One of the best fast bowlers produced by Sri Lanka, Malinga was out of the Sri Lankan squad for a long time. However, Angelo Mathews will lead the Islanders.
Lasith Malinga returns to Sri Lanka squad after a year:
He last played an international match back in 2017. Malinga has made a comeback after being dropped for the one-off Twenty20 International against South Africa.
In recent times, T20 was the only format Malinga was playing for the country. However, a comeback in the 50 overs format proves that the Sri Lankan Cricket (SLC) still considers him to be around the circuit.
Mathews will lead the side once again. The squad consists of some impressive names who will look to help Sri Lanka win their sixth Asia Cup title. Kusal Perera will be the first choice wicket keeper. Kusal Mendis will safeguard the middle order, Upul Tharanga in all likelihood will open the innings.
Meanwhile, Board selectors also named Test skipper Dinesh Chandimal in the much-awaited squad. Hence he will also provide a reliable option in the middle order.
All-rounder Thisara Perera finds a place alongside Dananjaya de Silva and Dasan Sanaka who have impressed in the recent times.
Akila Dananjaya and Dilruwan Perera will be the two spinners along with Amila Aponso. Malinga will lead the fast bowling duty.
Lasith Malinga will lead the pace bowling department
The other two pacers in the squad are Suranga Lakmal and Dushmantha Chameera. It will be an exciting tournament.
In all likelihood, Pakistan will start as favourites for their past experiences of playing in UAE. Moreover, the Men in Green has selected UAE as their adopted home ground.
Hence they will be starting as favourites. India has also played some quality cricket in the recent past. Subsequently, they will also be one of the favourites for the tournament.
Here is the full squad of Sri Lanka for the Asia Cup 2018:
Angelo Mathews, Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis, Upul Tharanga, Dinesh Chandimal, Danushka Gunathilaka, Thisara Perera, Dasun Sanaka, Dananjaya de Silva, Akila Dananjaya, Dilruwan Perera, Amila Aponso, Kasun Rajitha, Suranga Lakmal, Dushmantha Chameera, Lasith Malinga
Shehan Madhusanka, Nuwan Pradeep, Lakshan Sandakan, Shehan Jayasuriya, and Niroshan Dickwella.