Sri Lanka have announced their 15-man squad for the T20 World Cup set to be played in UAE and Oman in October-November. Kusal Perera, who missed the series against South Africa returns to the side while veteran batsman Dinesh Chandimal has held on to his spot after an impressive outing against the Proteas in the first T20I. The Dasun Shanaka-led team also includes 21-year-old spinner Maheesh Theekshana.
Meanwhile, spinner Akila Dananjaya has been left out of the main squad but will travel with the team as reserve along with Lahiru Kumara, Binura Fernando, Pulina Tharanga. Theekshana bagged a four-fer on his ODI debut against South Africa. The off-spinner has played 23 T20s, picking up 22 wickets and an average of 20.86.
Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Kamindu Mendis have also made a cut to the squad. Rajapaksa has represented Sri Lanka in seven T20Is while all-rounder Kamindu Mendis has played four T20Is. Praveen Jayawickrama, who is yet to play a T20I, has also been selected. The left-arm spinner, however, has played one Test and five ODIs.
Wanindu Hasaraga and Dushmantha Chameera, who will gain some valuable experience in the IPL, are also part of the squad.
After a string of losses, Sri Lanka have finally started to pick some momentum ahead of the World Cup. After an impressive T20I series win over India, they also defeated South Africa in the ODI series. The Lankan Lions will have to go through a qualifying round to progress to the Super 12s. They open their campaign with a match against Namibia in Group A of the first round on October 18 in Abu Dhabi.
Sri Lanka squad: Dasun Shanaka (C), Dhananjaya De Silva, Kusal Janith Perera, Dinesh Chandimal, Avishka Fernando, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Charith Asalanka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Kamindu Mendis, Chamika Karunaratne, Nuwan Pradeep, Dushmantha Chameera, Praveen Jayawickrema, Lahiru Madushanka, Maheesh Theekshana
Reserves: Lahiru Kumara, Binura Fernando, Akila Dananjaya, Pulina Tharanga