Mystery spinner Maheesh Theekshana, who starred on his international debut last week, has been named in Sri Lanka's 15-member T20 World Cup squad, alongside left-arm spinner Praveen Jayawickrama and top-order batsman Bhanuka Rajapaksa. Meanwhile, former captain Angelo Mathews misses out.
Maheesh Theekshana, who returned a match-winning 4/37 on his ODI debut against South Africa last week, was the highlighting pick in Sri Lanka’s T20 World Cup squad announced on Sunday, September 12. The 21-year-old had returned 1/35 on his T20I debut on Friday.
Left-arm spinner Praveen Jayawickrama, who has represented Sri Lanka in one Test and five ODIs but is yet to play a T20I, was also included. Top-order batters Bhanuka Rajapaksa, and Kamindu Mendis were the other notable picks, the latter also boasting a skillset of ambidextrous finger-spin. Experienced spinner Akila Dananjaya has been named in the reserves alongside Pulina Tharanga, Lahiru Kumara and Binura Fernando.
Former captain Angelo Mathews, who isn't a part of Sri Lanka's contract list, was a major omission, as were Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Mendis, and Danushka Gunathilaka, who were banned for a year for having breached Covid protocols during the recent England tour.
Sri Lanka are placed in Group A alongside Namibia, Ireland, and the Netherlands for the Qualifiers round. The Dasun Shanaka led side will begin their campaign against Namibia on October 18 in Abu Dhabi. The top two teams from the two groups will progress to the Super-12 stage.
Sri Lanka squad: Dasun Shanaka (capt.), Dhananjaya de Silva, Avishka Fernando, Charith Asalanka, Kamindu Mendis, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Kusal Perera, Dinesh Chandimal, Wanindu Hasaranga, Chamika Karunaratne, Dushmantha Chameera, Maheesh Theekshana, Praveen Jayawickrama, Lahiru Madushanka, Nuwan Pradeep
Reserves: Pulina Tharanga, Lahiru Kumara, Binura Fernando, Akila Dananjaya