Rookie spinner Dananjaya gets World T20 call-up
Akila Dananjaya has been named in Sri Lanka's squad for the World Twenty20, following four impressive performances for Wayamba United in the ongoing Sri Lanka Premier League. Another uncapped player, opening batsman Dilshan Munaweera, has been picked and Ajantha Mendis has earned a recall. Mendis has not played for Sri Lanka since January after suffering a back injury.
Dananjaya, 18, had never played professional cricket prior to the SLPL, nor was he picked for the U-19 side currently competing in the World Cup in Australia. He had been selected in the preliminary 30-man squad solely on the recommendation of captain Mahela Jayawardene, who had faced him at Sri Lanka's net session. Dananjaya has taken seven wickets at the SLPL, at an average of 11 and an economy rate of 4.81.
Munaweera was picked despite not being named in the preliminary list. Renowned as a clean hitter on the domestic circuit, he showed glimpses of that power in the SLPL, but has a highest score of 36 in his four innings in the tournament so far
Mendis, though, has been impressive in the SLPL. He has nine wickets at an average of 14.11 in four matches.
A fractured finger during the ODI series against India last month had ruled out Kumar Sangakkara for four to six weeks and his selection in the 15 remains subject to his recovery in time for the competition. Likewise with seamer Nuwan Kulasekara, who suffered a groin injury in July.
There is no room in the side for batsman Upul Tharanga, who played in the Twenty20 against India earlier this month, despite scores of 65 not out and 48 for his franchise. Chamara Kapugedara, who hit a match-winning 69 from 39 balls for Uthura Rudras on Tuesday also missed out.
Sri Lanka play their first warm-up ahead of the World T20 against West Indies on September 13. Their first game of the tournament is against Zimbabwe on September 18.
Sri Lanka squad: Mahela Jayawardene (capt), Angelo Mathews (vice-capt), Kumar Sangakkara, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Lahiru Thirimanne, Jeevan Mendis, Dilshan Munaweera, Thisara Perera, Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Kulasekara, Rangana Herath, Ajantha Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal, Shaminda Eranga, Akila Dhanajaya.