A day after announcing Dimuth Karunaratne as their captain, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) announced their 15-man World Cup 2019 squad on Thursday. Milinda Siriwardana, Jeffrey Vandersay and Jeevan Mendis were the surprise inclusions in the squad as they haven’t played the format in last couple of years. Siriwardana and Vandersay last played a One-Day International (ODI) in October 2017 while skipper Karunaratne and Mendis last appeared in an ODI in World Cup 2015.
Dimuth Karunaratne (capt), Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Thisara Perera, Kusal Perera, Dhananjaya de Silva, Kusal Mendis, Isuru Udana, Milinda Siriwardana, Avishka Fernando, Jeevan Mendis, Lahiru Thirimanne, Jeffrey Vandersay, Nuwan Pradeep, Suranga Lakmal.
The selection panel, headed by Asantha de Mel, dropped some of the seasoned campaigners, including the likes of Niroshan Dickwella, Danushka Gunathilaka, Dinesh Chandimal, Upul Tharanga and Akila Dananjaya, from the squad.
All of them have been put on standby.
Before announcing the squad, De Mel described his thought-process behind picking certain players, in a video tweeted by the SLC. “(We will be) looking at eight batsman, two genuine spinners, two all-rounders and three fast-bowlers,” he said in the video.
Talking about team balance he said, “In the first eight batsman, we need two of them should be able to bowl at least five overs.”
Sri Lanka start their World Cup campaign against New Zealand on June 1.