Sri Lankan cricket July 13, 2004

Murali named in squad for Asia Cup

Wisden Cricinfo staff

Lasith Malinga: All set for his one-day debut in the Asia Cup © Getty Images

Muttiah Muralitharan has been included in the 14-member Sri Lankan squad for the upcoming six-nation Asia Cup tournament, beginning on July 16. Avishka Gunawardene, the dashing left-hander, has been recalled while Lasith Malinga, the fast bowler who caused a lot of problems for the Australians in the recently concluded Test series, gets a chance to make his one-day debut.

The four omissions from the 16-member squad that recently played a series in Zimbabwe are Russel Arnold, Nuwan Kulasekara, Dilhara Fernando and Rangana Herath.

The surprising aspect of the selection is that only two specialist spinners, Murali and Upul Chandana, have been included in the squad. Pitches in Sri Lanka have traditionally suited the spinners and Sri Lanka have thrived on them in the past few years.

Instead they have decided to go in with four specialist medium-pacers with Malinga and Farveez Maharoof as back-up for Chaminda Vaas and Nuwan Zoysa.

Squad Marvan Atapattu (capt), Avishka Gunawardene, Mahela Jayawardene, Sanath Jayasuriya, Saman Jayantha, Kumar Sangakkara (wk), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Thilina Kandamby, Upul Chandana, Chaminda Vaas, Nuwan Zoysa, Muttiah Muralitharan, Lasith Malinga, Ferveez Maharoof.