Sri Lanka in South Africa 2011-12 December 19, 2011

Alvitigala gets Sri Lanka call-up

ESPNcricinfo staff

Seam bowler Nuwan Kulasekara won't be joining Sri Lanka's Test squad in South Africa and instead the uncapped Kanishka Alvitigala will fly out along with Dhammika Prasad ahead of the second Test in Durban.

Tillakaratne Dilshan, the Sri Lanka captain, had said that both Prasad and Kulasekara would be added to the touring party to bolster the pace-bowling options following Nuwan Pradeep's injury, but the sports ministry hadn't approved the selections and instead the nod has gone to Alvitigala. Kulasekara is likely to arrive for the one-day series next month.

Alvitigala, 25, has taken 51 first-class wickets at 32.35 in 25 matches with a career-best of 5 for 34 and has previously represented Sri Lanka A including on the tour to England earlier this year.

Sri Lanka's pace-bowling options have been stretched to breaking point in recent months with a string of injuries to contend with. Before the tour of South Africa four seamers, including Prasad and Kulasekara, were ruled out with injury and Sri Lanka lost Pradeep after he broke down during the warm-up match in Benoni.

Sri Lanka were crushed by an innings and 81 runs in the opening Test at Centurion and although the pace attack was able to cause South Africa some problems they couldn't sustain pressure. Chanaka Welegedara, the left-armer, took 3 for 96 and Thisara Perera claimed 3 for 114 but Dilhara Fernando, the most senior bowler, only managed 1 for 128 in 28 overs.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Samal on December 22, 2011, 9:21 GMT

    Hope SL wil find the way soon. But when it happen ???? In this tour or next ??l

  • Dummy4 on December 22, 2011, 8:36 GMT

    I don't know anything about Alvitigala and I am also not a fan of Nuwan K. But the fact that the Sports Minister decides who should be in the team is what is fundamentally wrong with SLC!

  • sri on December 22, 2011, 0:01 GMT

    All the best Alvitigala old chap,hope u can do what the others are finding so difficult to do here in SA.

  • Dummy4 on December 21, 2011, 14:55 GMT

    We not in a situation to test, But with this injury club of fast bowlers we need some young blood who can lead the attack, Lets wait until the final Team announce :)

  • Manoj on December 21, 2011, 12:54 GMT

    Nothing against Kanishka - but this is simply ridiculous. Has the sport minister played any cricket - who is giving the nod at the ministry - is it the sports director? Disapointing to say the least - Kulasekara would have done well on these wickets. Same paces as Philander - if not slightly quicker - but controlled movement off the track. The green pitch would do the rest - like with Philander. Outside SA Philander would be very ordinary. Just as people comment on spinners in the sub continent it is important to assess quicks on flat tracks.

  • Dummy4 on December 21, 2011, 10:49 GMT

    we desperately need a batsmen who is young can play the brand of cricket that sri lanka call their own, a player who has scored plenty of runs in 2011 and who can captain in the future and that is UPUL THARANGA he just captained Nondescripts to a championship victory and is a regular in the ODI team

  • priya p on December 21, 2011, 10:41 GMT

    No alvitigala is not a man from down south. They ae quite correct in not including kulasekara because he is a skiddy seamer. There is no value for that type of bowler. These are fast wickets that suit "HIT THE DECK HARD " type of bowlers. kanishka alvitigala is 6 ft 3 in height he hits the deck hard tat is the reason for his inclusion. dammika prasad too hits the pitch hard. This is why they are in! Atleast this is aa consistent line of thinking.

  • sugar on December 21, 2011, 9:33 GMT

    Wow. I wonder why the all knowing sports minister don't pick himself to be in the team!!. why bother having any selectors at all? this guy alvitigala must be really good to take the place of both prasad & kulasekara, prasadbowled his heart out against pakistan & we know what kulasekara is cable of.. what is this guy sports minister's first class cricket averages & statistics? has he played test cricket can anyone please enlighten us please I dont know his name

  • Dummy4 on December 21, 2011, 8:10 GMT

    this politicians won the world cup!!!!!!!agian they will win this tour!!!!

  • Srinath on December 21, 2011, 5:47 GMT

    Why don't we make Hon. Minister the sole selector to avoid time and finance waste. We could save the amount we pay for these selectors and pay that money to unpaid umpires in domestic cricket.

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