Karunaratne, Thirimanne in Sri Lanka A squad
Sri Lanka batsman Dimuth Karunaratne has been named captain of the A team for the first two four-day games at home against West Indies A. Lahiru Thirimanne, who was omitted for the Tests as well as limited-overs series against Australia, found a place in the 15-member squad.
Thirimanne has not played competitive cricket since the Lord's Test in June. Karunaratne, meanwhile, is coming off an underwhelming Test series: he had managed only 41 runs, including five single-digit scores, at 6.83 in six innings against Australia. Strong performances for the A team could help the two batsmen bolster their prospects at the senior level.
Left-arm wristspinner Lakshan Sandakan, who took match figures of 7 for 107 in the first Test against Australia in Pellekele, the best by a chinaman bowler on Test debut, was another prominent name in the A squad. Sandakan's match returns were also the third-best by a Sri Lanka bowler on debut.
Batsman Avishka Fernando and seamer Lahiru Kumara, who recently broke into the ODI squad, and Under-19 captain Charith Asalanka, who led them to a whitewash against England Under-19 last month, were also named in the squad. Fernando and Kumara are also Under-19 graduates.
Kusal Perera, named vice-captain, Niroshan Dickwella, and Asela Gunaratne were the other international names in the squad. The first of three four-day matches gets underway at the R Premadasa Stadium on October 4.
Sri Lanka A squad: Dimuth Karunaratne (capt.), Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Perera (vice-capt.), Roshen Silva, Charith Asalanka, Niroshan Dickwella, Asela Gunaratne, Avishka Fernando, Anuk Fernando, Vimukthi Perera, Prabath Jayasuriya, Lakshan Sandakan, Asitha Fernando, Lahiru Kumara, Kasun Madushanka