Dilhara Fernando named in Champions Trophy squad
Dilhara Fernando, who has been plagued by back problems since breaking into the Sri Lankan team four years ago, has been named in the 14-man squad for the ICC Champions Trophy. Fernando, capped 57 times in ODIs, replaces Thilina Kandamby in the only change to the squad that won the Asia Cup so convincingly on home soil.
Ashantha de Mel, Sri Lanka's chairman of selectors, expressed the belief that an additional fast bowler would give Marvan Atapattu more options in the seam-friendly conditions likely to be found in England. "Dilhara has been bowling well in the nets," he said. "With Lasith Malinga still inexperienced, Dilhara's inclusion gives the tour selectors a better option."
He went on: "We expect the top six batsmen to score the runs which leaves the seventh spot for an allrounder, either Farveez Maharoof or Upul Chandana."
Sri Lanka start their campaign with a match against Zimbabwe (Sept 14) and then clash with England three days later in a game that will probably decide who goes forward to the semi-finals.
Squad Marvan Atapattu (capt), Sanath Jayasuriya, Saman Jayantha, Avishka Gunawardene, Kumar Sangakkara (wk), Mahela Jayawardene, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Chaminda Vaas, Upul Chandana, Farveez Maharoof, Nuwan Zoysa, Dilhara Fernando, Lasith Malinga, Muttiah Muralitharan.