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Karunaratne to lead Sri Lanka in World Cup

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By Reuters
Karunaratne to lead Sri Lanka in World Cup
FILE PHOTO: Sri Lanka's Dimuth Karunaratne arrives at a practice session ahead of their second test cricket match against Pakistan in Colombo June 24, 2015. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte   -   Copyright  Dinuka Liyanawatte(Reuters)

COLOMBO (Reuters) – Sri Lanka’s test captain Dimuth Karunaratne has been appointed the skipper for the one-day squad for the upcoming World Cup, the country’s cricket board announced on Wednesday.

The 30-year-old will lead the team while playing his first one-day game since 2015.

Karunaratne’s leadership was praised after Sri Lanka won a two-match series against South Africa in February to become the first Asian team to win a test series in the African nation.

Sri Lanka Cricket said Karunaratne’s appointment was ratified by the Minister of Sports Harin Fernando.

Karunaratne has not played a one day international since the 2015 World Cup, but was tipped to take over from fast bowler Lasith Malinga who led the side in a 5-0 thrashing in the ODI series against South Africa following the test triumph.

He also answered his critics with a string a impressive performances with the bat during the recent domestic one-day tournament, scoring 165 runs in four matches at an average of 55.

The left-handed opening batsman has played 60 tests and 17 one-day games for Sri Lanka.

(Reporting by Shihar Aneez; Editing by Christian Radnedge)