Hasaranga leads, Mathews and Akila return to Sri Lanka’s T20 team

Wanindu Hasaranga 1

Colombo, Jan 9, 8PM – Sri Lanka Cricket announced the appointment of Wanindu Hasaranga as the new captain for the Twenty20 side, making him the 13th leader for the country. The 16-member squad, revealed on Tuesday, includes the return of seasoned all-rounder Angelo Mathews and experienced spinner Akila Dhananjaya after a two-year break.

Wanindu Hasaranga, a dynamic 26-year-old all-rounder, is making a comeback after a nine-month absence since April last year. The Sri Lanka Selection Committee, led by Upul Tharanga, places high hopes on his capabilities.

Angelo Mathews, the 36-year-old veteran, secures a spot in the Twenty20 side, with the team eyeing his wealth of experience for the upcoming Twenty20 World Cup this year. Mathews last played a Twenty20 match for Sri Lanka in March 2021 against West Indies. The previous selectors had overlooked him, providing opportunities to younger players.

In a notable return, 30-year-old off-spinner Akila Dhananjaya reclaims his place in the side after a two-year absence. His last Twenty20 appearance for Sri Lanka was in September 2021 against South Africa at R Premadasa Stadium.

Nuwan Thushara, known for his sling impactful performances in global franchise Twenty20 tournaments, makes a comeback since October.

However, Pathum Nissanka, who is currently recovering from fever, is named in the 16-member squad, pending fitness confirmation.

This strategic selection aims to bring a mix of youth and experience to the squad as Sri Lanka prepares for upcoming Twenty20 challenges.

Sri Lanka Twenty20 team: 1 Wanindu Hasaranga (captain) (CCC), 2 Charith Asalanka (vice captain) (SSC), 3 Kusal Mendis (wk) (SSC), 4 Kusal Perera (SL Police), 5 Dhananjaya de Silva (Baduraliya SC), 6 Sadeera Samarawickrama (Tamil Union), 7 Angelo Mathews (Colts), 8 Dasun Shanaka (SSC), 9 Kamindu Mendis (Tamil Union), 10 Akila Dhananjaya (Colts), 11, Maheesh Theekshana (SL Army), 12 Matheesha Pathirana (NCC), 13 Dilshan Madushanka (Colts), 14 Nuwan Thushara (SSC), 15 Dushmantha Chameera (NCC), 16 Pathum Nissanka (subject to fitness) (NCC).

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