Sri Lanka Cricket (SCL) have announced their men’s squad for the upcoming T20I series against Zimbabwe, starting January 14 at R.Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.
Angelo Mathews returns to T20I setup
In a surprising yet significant move, veteran cricketer Angelo Mathews has been included in Sri Lanka’s squad. The 36-year-old, absent from the T20I scene since 2021, is once again in contention, showcasing his resilience and experience during a crucial World Cup year.
Notably, the T20I leg will also witness the leadership transition as Wanindu Hasaranga takes on the role of Sri Lanka’s full-time captain in the shortest format. The star all-rounder was recently entrusted with leading the side, displaying the team management’s faith in his abilities to guide the team to success.
Squad highlights – Nuwan Thushara, Akila Dananjaya, and Kamindu Mendis make a comeback
Notable additions to the squad include the return of Nuwan Thushara, who has shown remarkable progress in domestic cricket and various franchise leagues worldwide. The 29-year-old, recently acquired by Mumbai Indians in the IPL 2024 auction, is set to bring his experience and skills to the Sri Lankan team.
In a bid to strengthen the spin department, Akila Dananjaya has also made a comeback, providing additional options as Sri Lanka prepares for the upcoming T20 World Cup in West Indies and USA. Kamindu Mendis, an ambidextrous all-rounder, also makes a return to the squad, adding versatility to the team’s spin resources.
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Captaincy structure and fitness concerns
Charith Asalanka, who previously served as the vice-captain in the ODI side, will reprise his role in the T20I format. The leadership structure aims to provide stability and experience to guide the team through the challenges of the upcoming series.
However, opener Pathum Nissanka‘s participation remains uncertain as the batter is under the injury cloud. His inclusion in the squad is contingent on a fitness test, adding an element of suspense to Sri Lanka’s squad announcement.
Sri Lanka squad for T20I series against Zimbabwe:
Wanindu Hasaranga (c), Charith Asalanka, Kusal Mendis, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Kusal Janith Perera, Angelo Mathews, Dasun Shanaka. Dhananjaya de Silva, Kamindu Mendis, Pathum Nissanka – subject to fitness, Maheesh Theekshana. Dushmantha Chameera, Dilshan Madushanka, Matheesha Pathirana, Nuwan Thushara, Akila Dananjaya