Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) announced a 20-member squad for the five-match T20I series against Australia, and Kusal Mendis along with Danushka Gunathilaka have returned from suspension and are included in the team. The five fixtures in the series will be played across three venues in Australia.
Sri Lanka are scheduled to play a five-match T20I series against Australia, starting from February 11, and the governing body announced their squad for the series and two players have returned from their suspension. The Sri Lanka Cricket on January 7, had lifted the one-year ban imposed on Kusal Mendis, Niroshan Dickwella and Danushka Gunathilaka for breaching the Covid-19 bio-bubble in England in July last year.
After serving the suspension period, top-order batsmen Kusal Mendis and Danushka Gunathilaka have made a comeback to the Sri Lanka side. Dasun Shanaka will lead the Sri Lanka squad, while Charith Asalanka has been appointed as the vice-captain in absence of Dhananjaya de Silva. Bhanuka Rajapaksa, who withdrew his retirement from international cricket is not included in the squad. Other major exclusions in the squad include Akila Dananjaya and Kusal Perera.
The statement from Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) read that fixtures of the series will be played across Sydney Cricket Ground, Manuka Oval and Melbourne Cricket Ground.
"Sri Lanka Cricket’s Selection Committee selected the following squad to take part in the ‘Sri Lanka Tour of Australia 2022. The Honorable Minister of Youth and Sports Namal Rajapaksa approved the below-given squad. The National Team will play 05 T20Is during the tour. The matches will be played across three venues, the SCG, Manuka Oval, and MCG, starting from 11th February 2022,” the statement read.
The board has appointed Rumesh Ratnayake as the interim coach for the series, but the former Sri Lankan bowler will not travel with the squad as he is currently undergoing a Covid isolation period. Ratnayake will join the squad before the first T20I at SCG.
"Ratnayake will not travel to Australia with the team but will join before the 1st T20I game, as he is currently in self-isolation," SLC said in a statement.
Sri Lanka squad: Dasun Shanaka (captain), Charith Asalanka, Avishka Fernando, Pathum Nissanka, Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal, Chamika Karunaratne, Janith Liyanage, Kamil Mishara, Ramesh Mendis, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lahiru Kumara, Nuwan Thushara, Dushmantha Chameera, Binura Fernando, Maheesh Theekshana, Jeffrey Vandersay, Praveen Jayawickrama.