Sri Lanka in South Africa 2011-12

Alvitigala gets Sri Lanka call-up

ESPNcricinfo staff

December 19, 2011

Comments: 71 | Text size: A | A

Kanishka Alvitigala bowls, England Lions v Sri Lanka A, 3rd unofficial ODI, Northampton, August 16, 2011
Kanishka Alvitigala could come into contention for a Test debut on Boxing Day © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Kanishka Alvitigala
Series/Tournaments: Sri Lanka tour of South Africa
Teams: Sri Lanka

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.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Dharmarathna on (December 22, 2011, 9:21 GMT)

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

Posted by   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!

Posted by gularan 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.

Posted by   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 :)

Posted by mjee 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.

Posted by   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

Posted by priya65 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.

Posted by popped 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

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 8:10 GMT)

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

Posted by Sri1967 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.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 4:28 GMT)

SL will Come back to the game soon. i am sure. Specially Sanga, Thilan, Mathews and Mahela

Posted by rukii on (December 21, 2011, 3:59 GMT)

I feel it is a good move.kulasekara was just return to the field after a injury and just played one one day match so far. He is more short format bowler than a test bowler.If he got injured again it will be nasty blow for the ODI series where SL can give some fight to the south africa. I agree with umesh at the moment SL cannot drop dilhara. and sl should make chandimal as the keeper and make him play betwwen sanga and mahela and drop samraweera to no 7.

Posted by SLsupport on (December 21, 2011, 2:15 GMT)

May be main reason kulasekara wasnt selected also to give chance to Dilhara.I dont think alwitigala will get a chance to play for the team.Three seamers will be Dilhara,Wela and Prasad.If they put kula to the squad,Dilhara will lose the place in team.There is a push for Dilhara from ministry.

Posted by SLsupport on (December 21, 2011, 2:12 GMT)

@ Umesh Indith: Dilhara was the best bowler in last odi.Its just quick,line and length bowling with slower bowls.But it doesnt help with test cricket.He need to swing the ball.I dont know how long he will take to learn swing.becoz he took a long time to learn that he need to put his foot behind the line.He is not the smartest guy in the world.

Posted by   on (December 20, 2011, 20:37 GMT)

Without Vaas and Murali, this SL is very ordinary. They can only play well in the dead pitches of SL. I am not sure if Dilhara is a Test Match bowler. He has been there for so long but there are no results. I dont know why Tharanga does not play in tests. Dilshan has no patience. Walagadera has been good. An attacking leg spinner is very much needed. Mendis needs to play all the time. Chandimal is good too. If Sanga and Mahela retire soon, SL is as in a spot of bother.I want Chandimal to play between Sanga and Mahela as he can learn a lot.

Posted by   on (December 20, 2011, 18:24 GMT)

Lions have to change the way they bat,cz if they try to defend much they will lose wickets against the pace.We have to be little bit aggressive against the loose deliveries.specially paranavithana.selectors have to rethink about him he is the one who build the pressure for lions,he bite balls as he want and getting out so cheaply.batting little bit aggressively means not throwing arms for every delivery without looking at the ball [dilshan].sangakkara has to play for the team not for him self.i have that feeling he is not support for his captain,he just score runs in some where in the series and he showing the winning end for srilankan spectators and he is going to the dugout without any hesitation of loosing his mother land,chandimal has to get the best out of his chances playing sensible knocks for his team when he get chance in to the and important thing LIONS NEED A CAPTAIN WHO CAN UNDERSTAND THE CAPTAINS ROLL

Posted by vallavarayar on (December 20, 2011, 17:58 GMT)

We should get Herath to open the innings with Thisara Perera. They are the embodiment of the Sri Lankan brand of cricket that Dilshan threatened the world with. And while we are at it, we should give the new ball to Mahela and Sanga. They are very 'good' seamers and more importantly, they don't need the ministerial approval as they are already here.

Posted by tennakoon63 on (December 20, 2011, 17:22 GMT)

What do the politicos know about cricket? Kulasekera is a better bet than the new comes. Probably Elvitigala is from down south of SriLanka.

Posted by   on (December 20, 2011, 16:54 GMT)

my team is 1 upul tharanga 2 tm dilshan 3 kumar sangakkara 4 mehela jayawaredena 5 thilan samaraweera 6 anjilo mathews 7denesh chandimal wk 8suraj randiv 9 ajantha mendis 10 nuwan kulasekara 11 chanaka welagedara

Posted by SLMaster on (December 20, 2011, 15:31 GMT)

It should be Thilan Thushara & Nuwan Kulesekara. This combination have bowled very well together. Welegedera is average and Dilhara's time is out. Dilhara has been playing since 2000 and yet to be the leading wicket taker in an innings. Also, batting is the issue here not bowling. Change the batting order except the openers. Bring Mathews to top and Hearath to middle. Include Dinesh as Wtkp. EVERYONE COMMENTED HERE HAS GOOD POINTS .... EXCEPT SLC BOARD ...

Posted by   on (December 20, 2011, 14:59 GMT)

I read some comments Dilhara should not be playing.. that's crazy - he is the only guy in SL squad now who can come to genuine quick pace. He hit Kallis on head. we need bowlers who opposition concern.. a bowler like him - on his day can ruin a batting line - a kulasekara bowling line and length cannot do that.. Dilhara didnt bowl no balls or wides - maybe he was bit short - people need to give him confidence.that's for what we have a bowling coach. in ODIs against Pak, I think he was the best bowler.Kepler Wessels after the 1st test had said SL bowling is pedestrian - if Dilhara was not there, what would he had said then? guys like Dilhara SL need to promote - he may err sometimes but we need to be patient - because pace is an asset and everybody has it!

Posted by money2504 on (December 20, 2011, 14:35 GMT)

And if anyone thinks sri lanka bowled quite well in the first test match, we can gauge what wouls have happened if sri lanka bowled bad, cz when we bowl well the opposition gets 400+, the no.11 batsman scores 20+ easily and the last wicket partnership is over 50. and thats when we bowl well. hehe. can imagine when we bowl bad. didnt people notice how many balls were left alone by smith and rudolph when they were batting? we were just wasting the new ball. then did people see how steyn and philander bowled.? our batsmen could have left around 6 balls out of the first 10 overs. thats all. thats how accurate their bowling was. and in that kind of a wicket, 400 means around 700 in a SSC pitch i guess. i dont think we can blame any batsman except mahela for the 2nd innings dismissals. maybe on the first innings dilshan, sanga, mahela, could have applied themsleves more, but i dont think we can bklame them for the second iinnings. thats how good their bowling was and our bowling wasnt so

Posted by money2504 on (December 20, 2011, 14:29 GMT)

Sri Lanka has become the laughing stock of the others!

Posted by money2504 on (December 20, 2011, 14:26 GMT)

Does anyone know whether there are any more countries where any national sports team selected should get the nod of the government?What kind of an idiotic rule is that? Not saying that Kanishka Alvitagala is not suitable, but why the hell do we have people called national selectors? whats the use? the selectors sit down and select a team, and then when it goes to the minister, sorry. i want this man in. What kind of a joke is this? Whats the knowledge that the sports minister has got to select a player for the national cricket team? If so no need of the national selectors. The sports minister could be selecting the national cricket team, maybe with the president or prime minister and some cabinet ministers for that matter.

Posted by   on (December 20, 2011, 14:10 GMT)

play chandimal instead of useless silva.He can't bat. He keeps on dropping catches.

Posted by   on (December 20, 2011, 13:52 GMT)

@Ahamed Afker: U want Malinga to be sacked...crazy or what. how long the national flag on ur chest keeps u motivated. SLC cudnt pay from last 8 months and ICC shud intervene for that. No pay. No hike. How to u keep motivated. Malinga's preference for IPL is commendable. End of the day its all about money and meeting ur financial needs. Anybody denies this?

Posted by   on (December 20, 2011, 13:32 GMT)

I am really astounded that people still include Dilahara in their team.. really? on what basis? Regarding Kanishka 51 wickets in 48 innings bowled is hardly wicket taking is it? bearly more than one wicket per innings. avarage of 32.35 SR of 54.6 copared to Kulesekaras avarage of 22.64 adn SR of 41.9 balls in first class cricket and we also know he can seam the ball defintiely if we get wickets like in the last test.

Posted by anver777 on (December 20, 2011, 11:57 GMT)

Experienced Nuwan would have been a better choice...& can't understand why Dilhara is still in the squad !!!!!!

Posted by gularan on (December 20, 2011, 11:03 GMT)

Ye gods ! They are really scraping the bottom of the barrel now. More cannon fodder for the SA batsmen. What a pitiful state of affairs.

Posted by   on (December 20, 2011, 10:42 GMT)

good luck your part as a good wicket taking bowler.

Posted by   on (December 20, 2011, 9:30 GMT)

wateva SA are on fire...dey wont stop with any such small stupid change

Posted by yorkslanka on (December 20, 2011, 9:24 GMT)

my team 1. upul tharanga(must be brought in) 2. Paravitana 3.Sanga 4. Mahela 5. Dilshan 6. Chandimal(wk) 7. Samaraweera 8. Thissara 9. Herath 10. Welagedara 11.Dilhara..

Posted by   on (December 20, 2011, 8:51 GMT)

Ajantha should play SA in the second test on wards. Our team management also made big big mistake keep him away against AUS. Ajantha is a match winner even he got man of the series as well that too against IND. True he is not like earlier but still other batsman are fear to him and in SA condition he is better bowler than herath. Cricket is a not just play but that need mental strength as well. But SLC ruin Chandimal's and Ajantha's career by keeping away.Even they fail we have to give chances continuesly.So we can get rewards later. Anyway my team is for next test. Dilshan,Paranavithana,Sanga,Mahela,Thilan,Chandimal,Mathews,Thisara,Dilhara,Welagedara and Ajantha Mendis. Anyway all the best SL.

Posted by Wijeipb on (December 20, 2011, 8:28 GMT)

Once again Dilshan got the prize from the Minister. Starting test carrier by any palayer in the SA soil would be a horible. God bless Kanishka.

Posted by Cvic on (December 20, 2011, 7:51 GMT)

Sri Lankan bowlers did reasonable job except leaking runs to 10th wicket. Batting need to improve a lot. i feel Sangakkara should keep wicket letting Chandimal to come in. If Chandimal open batting with Paranavithana batting lineup will be stronger. good luck

Posted by Sachwid on (December 20, 2011, 6:08 GMT)

Why SLC is worried about bowlers, when top 5-6 batsmen can't play for 25 overs in a test match??? We need promising batsmen or allrounders at the moment, even in the last test, bowlers did a fairly good job to defend the lame total of 180. Replace the bowlers with players who can bat atleast for few overs in the depth

Posted by stormy16 on (December 20, 2011, 6:07 GMT)

When will SLC get the message? The writting has been on the wall for a long time and it appears they are unable to read. This is not the way to select a test team - the Minister is not a specialist selector - SL has people for that job and they are called selectors. The Minister appointed them didnt he? Why doesnt the Minister do away with the selectors and select the team himself. When will SL wake up - the ICC has recently issued statements that polictics in cricket will not be tolerated. There will only be ONE option left - withdraw the ICC funding till SLC get their act togeather.

Posted by   on (December 20, 2011, 5:59 GMT)

I can say first these politician should away from Cricket and (team politics also should away).As per my view Lasith should play Test instead of ODI and T20. Anybody can play ODI and T20, but for Test we need Wkt taking bowler like Malinga. But Malinga's preference is IPL and ODI.So we should sack him first.It seem he is taking revenge from SLC over the contract but in the SL team suffer.If sack no body will take him for IPL etc. If he plays in SA in this seris results could be differance.At least we could avoid Inning defeat. His yourkers are very handy in SA condition specially for tailenders.Even for top batters. So we needs to take him for Test. And also we need new physio as well.

Posted by   on (December 20, 2011, 5:55 GMT)

Dilhara fernando ..........horrible no use at all :-(

Posted by   on (December 20, 2011, 5:38 GMT)

ok, the way they bring-in players, I think even I would stand a chance.

Posted by Shafi79 on (December 20, 2011, 5:25 GMT)

I wish we could find a magical cure for Lasith Malinga - so he can play test cricket again :(

Posted by Mark00 on (December 20, 2011, 4:57 GMT)

Pradeep got injured because he's been hitting the gym. If you look at recent South Asian fastbowlers, they have all become bulkier. This is because they are all doing weight training to look good but the cost is that they've all lost pace and become prone to injury. Bowlers like Pradeep, Sharma, Malinga and Aaron used to be 150kph bowlers. Now they struggle to crack 140kph and they get injured very easily. Fast bowlers should not do weight training. The only training a fast bowler should do is eat well and bowl as many deliveries as possible. It worked for Lillee, Thomson, Marshall, Holding, Tyson, Larwood, etc.

Posted by SLsupport on (December 20, 2011, 4:00 GMT)

Take a look at this... Even in his last match alvitigala only managed 1 wicket.Where are these guys coming from????????????????????????????? No wonder we are losing.Even in last test match dilhara took 1 wicket.So clearly he cant replace even dilhara.All is managements fault.No point in blaming players.

Posted by SLsupport on (December 20, 2011, 3:51 GMT)

If minister knows who should be in the team why there is a selection committee.Or if he values someone elses opinion over selection committee,Then why dont he put them to selection committee?

Posted by SLsupport on (December 20, 2011, 3:47 GMT)

@Viraj Lakshitha Nuwan pradeep started to play after he was found recently.So there can be fitness issues.But people who played for schools also should hav good fitness and should know how to stay awya from injuries.ex-: mathews,shaminda....

Posted by ilhamrfe on (December 20, 2011, 3:35 GMT)

i don't know why the selectors have gone for Kanishka instead of Kulasekara.Kulasekara is such an experience bowler who can well utilize the south african pitch conditions.if Kanishka got debut for the 2nd match it will bring more tragedies for sl team.even his 1st class average is not so good,then how can he bowl against the world class players in south africa.

Posted by vallavarayar on (December 20, 2011, 3:07 GMT)

I hear SL has a very good fast bowling prospect called Wimal Weerawanse, who is blowing away all comers. Why don't they bring him him down to play the Saffers?

Posted by siri1234 on (December 20, 2011, 2:55 GMT)

omg is this some kind of joke going on u play whom u want n drop whom u want .its really disgusting to see politics at even this point of time wen we r beaten badly .now lankan fans can only be hopeful

Posted by   on (December 20, 2011, 2:44 GMT)

SL fast bowling consultants should be Chaminda Vass and Romesh Ratnayake....

Posted by satish619chandar on (December 20, 2011, 2:38 GMT)

Sports ministry approving selection of player? Bad state of cricket in SL continues to surprise..

Posted by   on (December 20, 2011, 1:26 GMT)

Why does Nuwan Pradeep always have injuries?He had only a single chance to play for the national team and looked like a wicket taking fast bowler. Dammika prasad also having injuries always.Remember,last test match he played against Pakistan,he played only for 3 days i think. If we have to face the same problem this time also,Nothing to talk about...

Posted by   on (December 20, 2011, 1:22 GMT)

this series going to be horrible for srilanka.....

Posted by   on (December 19, 2011, 23:32 GMT)

Kehelgamuwa, Fredricks, Liverz, and a few more and they were supposed to be really good becuse know one here know how they bowle ok :D

Posted by FatBoysCanBat on (December 19, 2011, 23:19 GMT)

I know the soil used for cricket pitches in the sub-continent [and West Indies] is vastly different to that in Australia, England, New Zealand, and South Africa but...Why can't curators in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, West Indies and Bangladesh just leave more grass [green grass] on top and more moisture in the wicket? This would offer assistance to the quicks for the first day or two and would still aid spinners during the last day or two. I have never been to the sub-continent so I don't really know if this is feasible or not.

Posted by FatBoysCanBat on (December 19, 2011, 23:04 GMT)

SLC should hold fast bowling camps where anyone can turn up if they think they are good enough. This will help find some young quicks who have slipped through 'the system'. Clearly the guys they are getting in clearly aren't good enough for Test level [and probably couldn't even hold their own in Aus or Eng first-class cricket].

Posted by SLMaster on (December 19, 2011, 21:55 GMT)

I have nothing against Alvitigala. He can be a good promising bowler. But this is not the time to test him. You are against a strong side. .... BUT SL IS LOOKING FOR VOLUNTERRS ..... I am available if they need volunteers to play .... I know where my stumps are ... hardly play anything outside off ... where I cannot see it sweeeeesh past me.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2011, 20:01 GMT)

yes minster u are expert can u be the coach the team. when are we going to free the cricket run by cricketers???????????????

Posted by Lord.emsworth on (December 19, 2011, 19:14 GMT)

Welegedera, Lakmal, Eranga, Mirando, Dilhara, NLTC Perera, and now Alvitigala blah, blah.... None of these mediocre guys can rub any decent test team let alone the strong SA batters. SL have never had a decent TEST fast bowler with the honorary mention of Chaminda Vaas (Still available) I have heard from older fans that they did have very good pacies in the pre-test era. I have looked up names like Kehelgamuwa, Fredricks, Liverz, and a few more and they were supposed to be really good.

Posted by chamalv on (December 19, 2011, 17:57 GMT)

How can u justify dropping Kulasekara ? was he really dropped ? what was his injury before ?....totally agree with SL kamal's comment....sports ministry to decide who should play & who should not....No politics indeed

Posted by Advanced_Donkeys on (December 19, 2011, 17:42 GMT) kanishka , how much did you offer the honorable sports minister ?

Posted by Advanced_Donkeys on (December 19, 2011, 17:40 GMT)

kanishka who????? heard he was born in Homagama;It's my hometown.But I haven't heard of him.May be he has just arrived for a vacation from Mars.

Posted by asirigamage on (December 19, 2011, 17:39 GMT)

i dont think alvitigala is a good selection. thilan thushara, chathura peiris, or maharoof should in the team

Posted by   on (December 19, 2011, 17:21 GMT)

next test match we have to play :para,thirimanna,sanga,mahela,thilan,chandimal,dishan,thisara,prasad,dilhara.welagedara

Posted by SL_kamal on (December 19, 2011, 16:28 GMT)

Not only their players but also their SELECTION PANEL is injured. So what can Dilshan & Co. do?

Posted by SL_kamal on (December 19, 2011, 16:26 GMT)

What the hell: How come the people in the ministry knows cricket better than the selection panel. There is no need for a selection panel, people in the ministry can do the job. What is going on against Kulasekara? He never gets a proper run, even when he is performing well. I mean even while he was the number one in world rankings they dropped him for a match. How come Alvitigala with 51 first class wickets at 32.35 gets the nod over Kulasekara with 243 first class wickets at 22.64 to go with his 26 test wickets in 12 matches at 33.80. Mind you both these test & first class records of Kulasekara are second only to Ajantha Mendis, if you consider the touring squad.

Posted by playitstraight on (December 19, 2011, 15:45 GMT)

Finally some good news for SL. He defintely needs to play in the second test along with Prasad, taking the places of the "no-ball" Fernando and the "allrounder" Perera, which he is not because he is a tailender who swings at everything. Dinesh Chandimal needs a game too, although it could backfire with Chandimal debuting against world-class bowlers. Anyways, we'll have to wait and see.

Posted by 6pack on (December 19, 2011, 15:38 GMT)

Sri Lanka has been depressing in how they've performed. Never heard of this guy before. I'm glad I won't be accessing the internet for a while on vacation... I'd rather get hear about the 2nd and 3rd tests after they're done.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2011, 15:21 GMT)

Shaminda Eranga is still injured??? He's easily the best out of the lot

Posted by Nick.coll on (December 19, 2011, 15:11 GMT)

I like SL but only thing it haunts me about SL is they haven't one a single Test match in Aus, Ind and SAF.........It makes everyone think that something is wrong with SL cricket team...Champion Team will not have such records.Let's hope SL change those record tables sometime in the future but I feel it's not gonna happen....Play well SL...cheers

Posted by HLANGL on (December 19, 2011, 15:02 GMT)

Where's Thilan Thushara Mirando ?. Why's these bowlers who're nothing but mediocre even in the domestic circuit get picked up ahead of him, I means even the likes of Lakmal, Welagedara, Alvitigala, etc. ?. Thilan Thushara may not be a long term option since he's already 30, still he should be able to play for another 3-4 years easily. He's the only bowler who has at least some decent pace coupled with some sharp swing in his best day. He may not pick a match bag of 8-9-10 wickts, still from what I have seen, he can produce some crucial breakthroughs at times which will definitely have some impact on the end result. Can we expect at least that aspect from the likes of Lakmal, Welagedara, Alwitigala ?. I'm not sure why this so called set of selectors cannot see this plain truth. No wonder SL is being humiliated, in fact they should be if the selection is this much odd & biased not to see the plain truth.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2011, 15:00 GMT)

Where did this come from? This selection committee continues to amaze us. There are promising fast bowlers like Chathura Peries and more experienced ones like Thilan Thushara, but they chose to select Alwitigala who is quite unheard of in Sri Lanka.

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