No Jayasuriya and Mendis in Asia Cup squad
Forty-year-old opener Sanath Jayasuriya has been dropped from the 15-member Sri Lanka squad for the Asia Cup starting in Dambulla next week. Also missing from the line-up is spinner Ajantha Mendis, while fast-bowling allrounder Farveez Maharoof is back in favour after recovering from a side strain which had kept him out of contention since February last year.
This was the first squad picked by Sri Lanka's new selection panel, headed by former captain Aravinda de Silva, who took charge two weeks ago.
Sri Lanka coach Trevor Bayliss had warned at the start of the year that Jayasuriya was unlikely to be picked as a specialist opener and that he would have to force his way in as a spinning allrounder if he was to play the 2011 World Cup. He had been left out of Sri Lanka's side for the tri-series in Bangladesh earlier this year as well, and had been moved out of his favoured opening slot to the middle order late last year. Jayasuriya's most recent outings for the national side were at the recent World Twenty20 in the West Indies, where he had a miserable time, averaging 3.75 in six matches.
There were some surprises in the slow-bowling department with left-arm spinner Rangana Herath, who last played an ODI in 2004, chosen ahead of Mendis, who has had a reasonably good tri-series in Zimbabwe. Two offspinners at opposite ends of their careers, 38-year-old Muttiah Muralitharan and newcomer Suraj Randiv, are the other specialist spinners.
The Asia Cup will be held in Sri Lanka from June 15-24. India, Pakistan and Bangladesh are the other participating countries.
Squad: Kumar Sangakkara (capt & wk), Muttiah Muralitharan (vc), Mahela Jayawardene, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Upul Tharanga, Thilan Samaraweera, Angelo Mathews, Farveez Maharoof, Chamara Kapugedara, Nuwan Kulasekara, Chanaka Welegedara, Lasith Malinga, Suraj Randiv, Rangana Herath, Thilina Kandamby.