Dimuth Karunaratne, Dasun Shanaka sacked; Sri Lanka announces new captains for all three formats

With the 2024 T20 World Cup in USA/West Indies just five months away, Wannindu Hasaranaga has a big challenge ahead of him. 

Mathew K
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Sri Lanka (Source: Twitter)

Sri Lanka (Source: Twitter)

There was a significant change in Sri Lankan cricket on Wednesday (January 3) as the selectors named three different captains for all formats. The major overhaul comes ahead of Sri Lanka's upcoming series against Zimbabwe and Afghanistan. Notably, this is the first instance of Sri Lanka having different leaders in all three formats simultaneously. 


Dhananjaya de Silva will replace Dimuth Karunaratne as their Test captain. The veteran all-rounder became the 18th player from his country to lead the Test side. Karunaratne led Sri Lanka in 30 Tests with 12 wins, 12 losses, and six draws. Under his leadership, The Lions became the first Asian side to win a Test series in South Africa in early 2019. 

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) aims for a fresh start in 2024. All-rounder Dasun Shanaka was sacked from the role in both the limited-over formats, while wicket-keeper batter Kusal Mendis was replaced in ODIs and spin all-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga in T20s. With the 2024 T20 World Cup in USA/West Indies just five months away, Hasaranaga has a big challenge ahead of him. 

Will Sri Lanka miss the destructive batter in Kusal Mendis?


Mendis, on the other hand, needs to prove that the responsibility of captaincy will not affect his batting. The 28-year-old had to take over as Sri Lanka's captain from midway through the 2023 ODI World Cup after Shanaka picked up a groin injury that forced him to miss the tournament. Mendis, who was doing well with the bat until he took over the role, was unable to do much after that. 

Chief selector and former Sri Lanka cricketer Upul Tharanga said in a press conference that the board prefers to have the same captain in all formats but it is not possible now. “I would have preferred to have the same captain for all three formats. But we are unable to do that at the moment with the players we have,” Tharanga told reporters in Colombo.

Mendis and Hasaranaga will take up their first assignments in the white-ball series against Zimbabwe starting on Saturday (January 6). Sri Lanka will then host Afghanistan for three T20Is, three ODIs and one Test, with De Silva assuming the role for the first time. 

Sri Lanka ODI squad to play Zimbabwe: Kusal Mendis (captain), Charith Asalanka, Pathum Nissanka, Avishka Fernando, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Sahan Arachchige, Maheesh Theekshana, Dilshan Madushanka, Dushmantha Chameera, Dunith Wellalage, Pramod Madushan, Jeffrey Vandersay, Akila Dananjaya, Wanidu Hasaranga.

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