Sri Lanka in England 2016 June 8, 2016

Sri Lanka recall Maharoof for England, Ireland ODIs

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Sri Lanka recall Maharoof for England ODIs

Allrounder Farveez Maharoof, who last played an international game in March 2012, has been recalled to the Sri Lanka side for the upcoming ODI matches against Ireland and England.

Maharoof and four other players - allrounder Danushka Gunathilaka, legspinner Seekkuge Prasanna, offspinner Suraj Randiv and batsman Upul Tharanga - will fly to the UK to join the current Sri Lankan squad on tour. Some Test specialists are expected to return to Sri Lanka, but the selectors have not yet told the team which players will depart. Sri Lanka are set to play Ireland on June 16 and 18, before the five-match series against England starts from June 21.

Sri Lanka will be without spinner Rangana Herath and fast bowlers Dhammika Prasad and Dushmantha Chameera. While Herath announced his retirement from limited-overs cricket in April, both Prasad and Chameera were ruled out of the tour due to injuries. Prasad suffered a shoulder injury in the lead-up to the first Test against England at Headingley, and Chameera returned home after playing only one Test due to a stress fracture on his lower back.

Maharoof, 31, was the leading wicket-taker in Sri Lanka's List A competition, the Premier Limited Over Tournament, in 2015-16, taking 16 wickets in five matches at an average of 6.31. He also struck 77 runs for Nondescripts Cricket Club in the tournament. Overall, Maharoof has played 22 Tests, 104 ODIs and seven T20Is and has taken 133 ODI wickets.

Randiv, too, performed well for his side, Galle Cricket Club, in the Premier Limited Over Tournament, finishing as their leading wicket-taker with seven dismissals in five matches. The offspinner last played for Sri Lanka in November 2014, touring India for a five-ODI series.

Notable absences from the squad include Nuwan Kulasekara, who recently retired from Tests to focus on the shorter formats, and Thisara Perera. Though once a key bowler in the limited-overs attack, Kulasekara's form appeared to have dipped over a two-year period. His 25 ODI wickets since the start of 2014 have come at an average of 42.8. Thisara Perera has also been dropped thanks to slide in form.

Batsman Tharanga has not played for Sri Lanka since July last year, but makes his way back to the squad after an impressive first-class season, in which he struck 803 Premier League runs at an average of 61.76. He has more recently also been among the runs in the Dhaka Premier League, in which he hit four scores of 70 or more in seven innings. He may be in contention to open the batting, as Tillakaratne Dilshan has opted out of the tour. Kusal Perera and Gunathilaka are the other potential opening batsmen on tour.

The selection of Maharoof, Tharanga and Randiv is a slight departure from the selection panel's quest for youth and regeneration. All three players - Tharanga in particular - have enjoyed limited-overs success at times in their career, but had been discarded due to loss of form.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • chethana on June 11, 2016, 7:37 GMT

    Where is Lahiru Milantha SL best batsmen last premiere league tournament.Then sl best left arm spinners AmilaAponsu,Chamikara Edirisinghe.Also where is PHT Koushal off break bowler.Chathuranga de Silva highest wkt taker in DHAKA premiere league should be included for odi squad.why rambukwella,sachith pathirana for 4 day matches neither specialist batsmen or bowlers.

  • Sudheer on June 10, 2016, 17:00 GMT

    Very good selection to include Upul Tharanga. He should be selected For the test matches too. Because test team batting is so simple.

  • Ajith on June 10, 2016, 5:56 GMT

    All tried and tested players but not successful at International level barring Upul Tharanga

  • isuras7571876 on June 10, 2016, 4:23 GMT

    thirimanne good for odis... but please dnt include him for t20 cricket..... 2016t20 most failures batsman at the worldcup

  • Cricinfouser on June 9, 2016, 23:26 GMT

    Really happy with the inclusion of Dilshad to the Sri Lanka A squad. All the best for a bright future! May there be success at every turn of life and all your dreams come true! NAZ from Akurana,Kandy.

  • Neranjan on June 9, 2016, 20:46 GMT

    Good , Bad and Ugly !!!! Good : Upul Tharanga and Maharoof Bad: Suraj Randeev ( should have given chance to Tharidu Kaushal) Ugly : Ramith Rabukwella ( what have he done to justify his selection to any playing XI ? )

  • sasi.s0074483 on June 9, 2016, 16:32 GMT

    Thisara and milinda exclusion are very bad decision , also bring back randiv and seekkuge really bad , they are time out players , not wicket taking bowlers we want wicket taking bowlers not a ordinary bowlers , randiv is real bad bowler ...

  • manjul3232043 on June 9, 2016, 15:30 GMT

    Selection of Maharoof is a good thing. As srilanka needs good all rounders in the shorter format of the game. Like Milinda Siriwardana. Which was a great recently found asset to slc. Hope these new changes will bring about some good results for sri lanka in the shorter format atleast.

  • Amindha on June 9, 2016, 14:21 GMT

    Akhila dahanayake, Kusal is a regulat failiure, kusal only has 4 mom awards after 2 plus years ( PLUS the huge amount of first over dismissals which set the team back)

  • Pinidiya on June 9, 2016, 13:39 GMT

    @Akhila: Even Thisara Perera has a better MoM ratio (9 MoM awards from 81 ODI ings, Ratio 9.00 ) than Kusal Perera (4 awards from 49 ings. Ratio 12.25). So I don't know what you are talking about. Mind you, even out of those four awards, 2 are against BD & Depleted WI 3rd XI that visited SL in 2015 :)

    It is ludicrous to compare Kusal Perera with a world-class True Super-Star like Virat Kohli, who had won 21 MoM awards from 163 ins, Ratio 7.76. He is a player who had scored over 8k runs @ 52 Av, but Kusal Perera's 20 innings yielded just 71 runs & 1/8 th of Virat Kohli's ings (20 ins) produced 1,000 runs.

    No offense meant, but the difference is immeasurable, sky high mate :))

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