Colombo, Feb 18 (IANS) Defending champions Sri Lanka on Thursday announced a 15-member squad for the World Twenty20 and Asia Cup, which precedes the former.
Veterans including the likes of Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews and pacer Nuwan Kulasekara have been roped into the outfit — all of whom are making comebacks after injury.
Malinga, who led the side to victory two years ago in Bangladesh, will once again captain the team while all-rounder Mathews will be his deputy. Newcomer wicketkeeper-batsman Niroshan Dickwella has also been brought in.
Leg-spinner Jeffrey Vandersay, off-spinning all-rounder Shehan Jayasuriya, and Dasun Shanaka have been named to the squad but Seekkuge Prasanna and Kasun Rajitha — who featured in the recently concluded three-match T20 series in India — have not made the cut.
The bowling outfit has a combination of experience and youth. Fast bowler Malinga will lead the attack while old war horse Rangana Herath will head the spin department. Pacer Dushmantha Chameera and Vandersay — both relatively new to the international scene — now have the biggest stage in front of them to prove their mettle.
Tillakaratne Dilshan and Mathews will have to carry the batting on their experienced shoulders with Jayasuriya, Dickwella and Dinesh Chandimal in support.
Sri Lanka begin their Asia Cup campaign in Mirpur, Bangladesh, on February 25 and their World T20 commences in Kolkata on March 17.
Sri Lanka squad: Lasith Malinga (captain), Angelo Mathews (vice-captain), Dinesh Chandimal, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Niroshan Dickwella, Shehan Jayasuriya, Milinda Siriwardena, Dasun Shanaka, Chamara Kapugedara, Nuwan Kulasekera, Dushmantha Chameera, Thisara Perera, Sachithra Senanayake, Rangana Herath, Jeffrey Vandersay.