Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) have pulled off a surprise omission in the form of Lasith Malinga from the squad for their second residential camp, which is slated to begin from the 22nd of June in Kandy. The veteran pace bowler serves as the captain of the national T20 side. Lasith Malinga is one of the best and deadly bowlers of the modern era.
The lanky Sri Lanka speedster gave up Test cricket in 2011 to prolong his limited-overs career. Malinga announced his retirement from ODI cricket after the ODI series against Bangladesh following the 2019 World Cup. He featured in the 50-over World Cup, playing an integral role in beating England in a stunning victory for Sri Lanka.
Lasith Malinga last represented the national team in the T20 series against West Indies at home, which the hosts lost. The 36-year-old could pick just the one wicket in two fixtures at an abysmal average of 83. He is expected to play T20 internationals till the next T20 World Cup whenever it takes place.
Sri Lanka head coach Mickey Arthur stated that the 24-member squad had been named, keeping in mind the best international players, who would be ready to play the cricket at the highest level when it resumes. The six-member coaching staff would also work with the players. Sri Lanka’s upcoming limited-overs assignment against India stands suspended due to COVID-19 pandemic while the visit from Bangladesh for two Tests in late July remains uncertain.
“The arrangements for the next camp is aimed at becoming the best prepared international team post-Covid–19 and to be ready to play at any given time” Arthur stated as quoted by Hindustan Times.
Sri Lanka’s 24-member squad announced by the Board:
Dimuth Karunaratne, Dinesh Chandimal, Lahiru Thirimanne, Angelo Mathews, Thisara Perera, Danushka Gunatilaka, Kusal Janith Perera, Dilruwan Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Dhananjaya De Silva, Niroshan Dickwella, Dasun Shanaka, Vishwa Fernando, Kasun Rajitha, Lahiru Kumara, Nuwan Pradeep, Isuru Udana, Wanindu Hasaranaga, Lakshan Sandakan, Lasith Embuldeniya, Oshada Fernando, Avishka Fernando, Kusal Mendis and Bhanuka Rajapaksa.