This means there’s no room for Chamika Karunaratne, Niroshan Dickwella, Nuwan Thushara, Ramesh Mendis, Praveen Jayawickrama, Jeffrey Vandersay and Lahiru Madushanka. Pace spearhead Dushmantha Chameera meanwhile misses out having undergone surgery in Australia recently over a long-term injury issue.
The delayed squad announcement stemmed from the country’s sports minister refusing to ratify it – a requirement under Sri Lanka’s sports regulations – until an explanation was provided over the dropping of Karunaratne.
Lakshan has been included as a like-for-like replacement for Karunaratne. The 24-year-old seam bowling allrounder has been in good form with the bat recently in Sri Lanka’s first-class setup, having broken into the circuit initially during the inaugural edition of the LPL in 2020 with some impressive performances with both bat and ball. He will no doubt be hoping to stake a claim for a more permanent spot in Sri Lanka’s white-ball sides.
The in-form Kusal Mendis, meanwhile, will head up a batting unit that also includes Pathum Nissanka, Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dinesh Chandimal, Ashen Bandara and skipper Dasun Shanaka.
Wanindu Hasaranga, who is also capable with the bat, and Maheesh Theekshana, will lead the spin-bowling contingent, with the likes of Wellalage and de Silva offering support when needed.
Kumara, Rajitha, Pramod Madushan and Asitha Fernando will comprise the pace attack, with Shanaka and Lakshan providing part-time options.
Squad: Dasun Shanaka (capt), Pathum Nissanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Charith Asalanka, Dinesh Chandimal, Kusal Mendis, Wanindu Hasaranga, Dunith Wellalage, Dananjaya Lakshan, Kasun Rajitha, Maheesh Theekshana, Pramod Madushan, Asitha Fernando, Ashen Bandara, Lahiru Kumara