Sri Lanka in England 2014 May 13, 2014

Sri Lanka's big names return for England ODIs

ESPNcricinfo staff

Middle-order batsman Ashan Priyanjan and slow-bowling allrounder Chaturanga de Silva have been retained in Sri Lanka's squad for the five-match ODI series against England. Both players, 24, have had a moderately successful introduction to international cricket so far, with Priyanjan earning a place ahead of Kithuruwan Vithanage, and de Silva's left-arm spin allowing the selectors to rest Rangana Herath ahead of the Test series.

The series also sees the return of four senior players in Mahela Jayawardene, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Lasith Malinga and Kumar Sangakkara. Jayawardene and Dilshan are already with the squad, as Sri Lanka play their first warm-up match, against Essex, on Tuesday. Sangakkara and Malinga will join the team ahead of their second practice game on Friday - Sangakkara arriving from a brief county stint with Durham, and Malinga from the IPL. Allrounder Thisara Perera also joins the team, after having failed to receive his Ireland visa in time to play that leg of the tour.

Fast bowler Shaminda Eranga, who was part of the ODI side in Ireland, was left out, as were batsmen Upul Tharanga, Niroshan Dickwella and Kithuruwan Vithanage. The core of Sri Lanka's pace attack for the series will be formed by Malinga, Thisara, Nuwan Kulasekara and Suranga Lakmal, with the captain Angelo Mathews providing support. The selectors later added Dhammika Prasad as an additional squad member, after an emergency Executive Committee meeting.

The tour is Lahiru Thirimanne's first as vice-captain since replacing Dinesh Chandimal in that capacity. Perhaps the most significant decision to be made on match-day is where Thirimanne should bat. He has so far been impressive both as an opener as well as at No. 3, but is less-suited to positions down the order, where he routinely played in 2013.

The team will play two 50-over warm up matches, before taking on Sussex in a T20 practice match on May 18. The ODI series begins on May 22, in London. Sri Lanka have won each of the nine ODIs they have played this year, including the Asia Cup, in March.

Squad: Angelo Mathews (capt), Lahiru Thirimanne (vice-capt), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kusal Perera, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Dinesh Chandimal, Ashan Priyanjan, Sachithra Senanayake, Ajantha Mendis, Chathuranga De Silva, Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Kulasekara, Thisara Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Dhammika Prasad.

* May 13, 5.00pm GMT: This story has been updated with news of Dhammika Prasad's inclusion

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Samantha on May 16, 2014, 17:22 GMT

    @Isuru Perera, @cric1965 @ Jury @Jayanath Senewirathne :

    Please Keep pumping Kusal Perera's Hype Baloon ! I feel really sorry about the guy, who is doing his best to keep afloat, so don't blame him saying he is careless! Can't you see that you can expect him to do only things possible for him to do, within his limitations? He can whack the ball really hard across the line, uppishly to the leg side to score sixes on a slow flat decks, where hardly prevailing any substantial seaming conditions! Still, this could be productive only in T20 Scenario, ODIs need more than that. You should be able to build a long inning as an opener, facing pace & spin equally well! Unfortunately, "Kusalfriendly" wickets found only in subcontinent. Therefore, try to understand the simple logic, how can a batsmen with an extremely narrow margin of batting skills, survive in these seaming bouncy conditions on fast wickets? He has a very long way to go, even to come close to the caliber of Tharanga..!

  • MAHENDRA on May 16, 2014, 16:44 GMT

    Kusal Janith shoud learn how to bat out side the sub continent pitches.Unless his place should give to Thirimanna to open the innings and fill the middle order with Tharanga.

  • Android on May 16, 2014, 16:28 GMT

    tharanga is walking wicket in these conditions. if Kusal fails thirimanne should be the one who open with dilshan.

  • Pinidiya on May 16, 2014, 15:15 GMT

    I completely agree with @Andrew_Silva, this is what I have been saying throughout. The SL squad missing the services of a stable, experienced opener who can stem the side and play a long inning until the middle order is exposed (minimum 25 overs), while Dilshan is making the initial impact from the other end. Otherwise, its going to be a real burden on other front-order batsmen. It could trigger a middle order collapse very easily under pressure. The only SL opener who can do this is Tharanga. His track record proves it.

    Tharanga is holding the WORLD Record for the MOST number of 200+ PARTNERSHIPS in ODIs. He has involved SEVEN times in 200+ partnerships for SL!. The only other player in the world, who has equaled this World Record is Aussie player Ricky Ponting! I feel that SL is going to muddle-up the whole series due to this poor selection, which cannot be explained! Anyhow, I wonder why they didn't wait until the preliminary games are over, to announce the FINAL SQUAD.???

  • Samantha on May 16, 2014, 13:57 GMT

    Poor Sanga..... he had to do the opener's role consistently! This is the 10th CONSECUTIVE TIME the GATE was opened by Kusal Perera within the initial overs! Amazing to see this happening in EVERY occasion that SL played in seaming conditions or on fast bouncy tracks, since June 2013! All the fans who really love SL cricket, badly miss you Tharanga!

  • Kepili on May 16, 2014, 13:17 GMT

    MD Kusal J Perera c Blake b Joseph 1 (4minutes - 3balls)..!!! Oh...boy adding another one to the marvelous record, within first 2 Overs!!! Keep going.... there will be more to come. Three Cheers for SL and some of the wise fans who are posting so many constructive ideas.!!!! :))

  • Andrew on May 16, 2014, 11:48 GMT

    Why a player like Upul Tharanga was dropped from the squad is questionable. After all he has the best track record in England and so much experience handling conditions outside Sri Lanka. We don't have an experienced player like him to carry forward to the future, specially when the big three guys retire next year. I think this is a big mistake. He is only 29 and he can contribute at least another 8yrs and even suitable to lead the side. We have younger players, but considering them over Upul is not going to do any good for SL. We saw what happened to the players like Mubarak and Kandampy. Pushing them to the deep waters too early, may break them altogether.

  • MAHENDRA on May 16, 2014, 8:36 GMT

    Tharanga is unable to handle out side the off stump deliveries. Unless he correct that weakness he has no place as a opener but as a middle order batsman stll suitable in Sri Lanka team.

  • Dummy4 on May 16, 2014, 3:43 GMT

    @Crompton-Effect and @Ted-Dexter we all know tharanga scored most of his runs against weak attacks like BD, ZIM. while kusal played some good knocks against quality attacks like pakistan, SA and briefly AUS. tharanaga lots of opportunities in last decade. But he still cant play decent Fast bowling. Tharanga's most of runs came in Flat tracks or slow low wickets. Even he scored couple of 100s against weak attack of england that missed flintoff. Now tharanga is old and he doesnt deserved to be part of this sri lankan team. its just sad you using different usernames to make comments. you can say whatever you want. but tharanga isnt gonna play for sri lanka again.upul tharanga is a inconsistant and pathatic player nowdays.

  • Samantha on May 15, 2014, 19:09 GMT

    @Jayanath Senewirathne:

    Do't tell lies man! Tharanga was the youngest and fastest SL player to score, first 1000 runs in ODIs and 8th highest all-time run maker for SL. If he is not consistent, how come he has a 34.03 batting average (7th Highest, even more than Mahela & Jayasuriya) ?

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