Asia Cup 2012 March 2, 2012

Herath, Welegedara rested for Asia Cup

ESPNcricinfo staff

Left-arm-spinner Rangana Herath has been omitted from Sri Lanka's 14-man squad for the Asia Cup, which begins on March 11 in Dhaka. Fast bowlers Dhammika Prasad and Chanaka Welegedara, who were part of the Sri Lanka squad for the Commonwealth Bank tri-series in Australia, are also not in the squad.

While the selectors did not originally offer any explanation for why the players had been left out, Mahela Jayawardene, the Sri Lanka captain, said, after the first final of the Commonwealth Bank series, that a decision had been taken to rest the three bowlers for Sri Lanka's Test series against England, which starts four days after the Asia Cup final.**

"Everybody knows that after the Asia Cup, we travel, we get to Colombo, and the next day we get to Galle to play the No. 1 Test team in the world in a Test match," Jayawardene said. "I only have four Test bowlers left so I needed to rest them obviously. We made a decision that Rangana is definitely rested, and obviously Chanaka Welegedara and Dhammika Prasad, the other two Test bowlers, are going to take a two-week break and get ready for the Test matches because I doubt they can play a Test match straight after travelling from Bangladesh."

Legspinner* Seekkuge Prasanna takes Herath's place while fast bowler Suranga Lakmal comes back from a long injury lay-off. The three allrounders who picked up injuries during the tri-series - Farveez Maharoof, Angelo Mathews and Thisara Perera - have been included in the squad.

Herath played in most of Sri Lanka's ODIs since being recalled for the tour of South Africa. He has been economical in his 10 one-dayers this year, conceding only 4.35 an over, but he hasn't made too many breakthroughs - only five at 68.00.

Lakmal is returning to international cricket following an ankle injury. He last played for Sri Lanka during the one-day series against Pakistan in the UAE last November. He made a return to competitive cricket in the ongoing first-class domestic competition, the Premier League Tier A tournament, where he claimed eight wickets in four matches. Prasanna was dropped following the same one-day series - which Sri Lanka lost 4-1 - after he had claimed only four wickets in five matches at an average of over 50. He has since show impressive form in the Premier League Tier A, claiming 41 wickets in four matches for Sri Lanka Army, with five five-wicket hauls in eight innings.

Mahela Jayawardene and Mathews have been retained as captain and vice-captain respectively. Sri Lanka play their first match of the tournament on March 13 against India.

*9:38 GMT, March 3: The article had referred to Seekkuge Prasanna as an offspinner. This has been corrected.

**14:34GMT, March 4: This paragraph, and the following one, have been added after Mahela Jayawardene's press conference in Brisbane on March 4. The article originally said Rangana Herath had been dropped from the team

Edited by Nikita Bastian

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on March 5, 2012, 14:36 GMT

    @Adithya Raghunathan : dont know from which country you belong but that was a seriously good joke

  • Dummy4 on March 5, 2012, 13:57 GMT

    why not rest sanga and dilshan too?

  • Eranga on March 5, 2012, 5:53 GMT

    Ajantha is suffering from a series back injury. Haven't played since January this year. Jeewan haven't played since dec 2011. They are unavailable for selection. Herath and Welagedara are the only consistent test bowlers we have at the moment and if we are playing a test immediately after Asia Cup better hold them back. BTW some says that Rangana is suffering from a slight knee injury, so he is rested not dropped. And for people who say the team must contain certain players when you count the names suggested here it is about 10 different names. Someone tell me where we are going to put all these players. Even I say that Bhanuka and Eranga must be in the team. But who should be dropped???

  • Dummy4 on March 5, 2012, 5:33 GMT

    Very good selection for SL ahead of Asia Bangladesh SL doesn't have to play any specialized fast bowlers since they play 3 good allrounders.........Mehela is doing very good at the moment.......................

  • Dummy4 on March 5, 2012, 4:16 GMT

    "What happened to the likes of Jeevan Mendis?? and Ajantha Mendis???" Obviously you haven't heard of the no-Mendis policy? Even Duleep Mendis is gone.

  • Dummy4 on March 5, 2012, 3:42 GMT

    It would have been good to rest Mahela,Kumar,Dilshan too before the England Tour so that they will not burn out.We have to make changes and ensure that senior players are well rested so that the same fate that India is suffering at this moment does not happen to the SL team too.

  • Dummy4 on March 5, 2012, 2:15 GMT

    bangladesh will defenitely win the tornament!!!! and they will go on to win the next world cup

  • RANDIKA on March 5, 2012, 1:49 GMT

    What's wrong with Suraj Randiv??????????????????????????????? seekuge is no where near him

  • Chatty on March 5, 2012, 1:09 GMT

    The Aisa cup at this time of the year is a meaningless tournament. I would rather they all rested and prepared for the test series against England.

  • Jay on March 4, 2012, 20:31 GMT

    I personally feel this Asia Cup is a meaningless tournament. No other team apart from India would really want to jump on the bandwagon. Pakistan to a certain degree yes because they lost badly to England which was quite surprising to me. SL's squad looks 'okay' but not great. The batting is good but the bowling is a bit weak. It seems Ajanta Mendis is injured which is unfortunate cause on subcontinental tracks his bowling is lethal. Good spinners will win this tournament for their teams. Pakistan have Saeed Ajmal, India have Ashwin and others. SL should have had Herath. Very tricky for SL's chances. I hope they come good though.

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