Sri Lanka’s cricket team has unveiled its 15-member squad for the upcoming World Cup, led by Dasun Shanaka and his deputy, Kusal Mendis. The announcement came on Tuesday, 26 September, just before the ICC’s deadline.
Star Spinner Wanindu Hasaranga Ruled Out
In a significant blow to the team, star spinner Wanindu Hasaranga will not be participating due to a hamstring injury. Hasaranga, who was the top run-scorer and leading wicket-taker in the recent Lankan Premier League, sustained a thigh strain during the playoffs, ruling him out of the Asia Cup as well.
Despite efforts by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) to ensure Hasaranga’s participation, the possibility of a three-month recovery period following surgery has led to his exclusion from the World Cup squad.
Hasaranga’s Impressive Performance in World Cup Qualifiers
Hasaranga’s absence is particularly significant given his crucial role in the World Cup Qualifiers in June and July. Sri Lanka emerged victorious in the qualifiers, largely due to Hasaranga’s impressive performance, taking 22 wickets in just seven games.
Other Key Players and Injuries
Fast bowler Dushmantha Chameera is another notable absence, having failed to recover from a shoulder injury. However, Dilshan Madushanka and Lahiru Kumara have returned to the squad after missing the Asia Cup due to an oblique muscle tear and a recurring side strain, respectively.
Balance Maintained Despite Key Losses
Despite the loss of Hasaranga and Chameera, Sri Lanka’s World Cup squad remains well-balanced. The top-order features Pathum Nissanka, Dimuth Karunaratne, and Kusal Mendis, while the middle-order includes Sadeera Samarawickrama, Kusal Perera, Charith Asalanka, and Dhananjaya de Silva.
The team boasts a strong all-round lineup, led by captain Shanaka. Other all-rounders include Dhananjaya, Dunith Wellalage, and Asalanka. The pace attack comprises Kasun Rajitha, Dilshan Madushanka, Lahiru Kumara, and rising star Matheesha Pathirana, while the spin attack will be spearheaded by Maheesh Theekshana.
Sri Lanka’s World Cup Squad
Dasun Shanaka (c), Kusal Mendis (vc), Kusal Perera, Pathum Nissanka, Dimuth Karunaratne, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dushan Hemantha, Maheesh Theekshana, Dunith Wellalage, Kasun Rajitha, Matheesha Pathirana, Lahiru Kumara, Dilshan Madushanka
Sri Lanka will participate in two warm-up games against Bangladesh on 29 September and Afghanistan on 2 October, before their tournament opener against South Africa on 7 October at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi.