COLOMBO (Reuters) – Sri Lanka left out former captains Dinesh Chandimal and Upul Tharanga and recalled spin-bowling all-rounders Milinda Siriwardana and Jeevan Mendis in their 15-man squad on Thursday for this year’s World Cup in England and Wales.
Chandimal was Sri Lanka’s one-day international captain as recently as October while Tharanga led the side in 2017.
Tharanga’s fellow opener Danushka Gunathilaka also failed to make the cut while Lahiru Thirimanne, who last played in the format in end 2017, was drafted into the squad.
Jeffrey Vandersay was picked over mystery spinner Akila Dananjaya as the only specialist slow bowler with Sri Lanka’s selectors rewarding the leg-spinner’s strong performances in a recent domestic 50-over tournament.
Opening batsman Avishka Fernando, 21, survived the axe despite a below-par tour of South Africa recently but regular wicketkeeper-batsman Niroshan Dickwella was dropped.
The 1996 champions on Wednesday had appointed test captain Dimuth Karunaratne as the skipper for the May 30-July 14 World Cup despite the left-handed batsman not playing an ODI since the 2015 tournament.
The selectors continued on that note by bringing back Jeevan Mendis, who also last played in the format at the World Cup four years back in Australia and New Zealand. Siriwardana and Vandersay last played ODIs in October 2017.
Pace bowler Lasith Malinga, who led the side in a 5-0 thrashing in the ODI series against South Africa recently, kept his place alongside the injury-prone paceman Nuwan Pradeep.
Former captain Angelo Mathews, who missed a lot of cricket recently due to injury, was part of the 15-man squad.
Sri Lanka open their World Cup campaign against New Zealand on June 1.
Squad: Dimuth Karunaratne (captain), Avishka Fernando, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Dhanajaya de Silva, Jeffrey Vandersay, Thisara Perera, Lasith Malinga, Isuru Udana, Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep, Jeevan Mendis, Milinda Siriwardana
(Reporting by Shihar Aneez, Writing by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; editing by Amlan Chakraborty)