Kulatunga back in reckoning for World T20
Sri Lanka's selectors have included right-hander Jeevantha Kulatunga in the probables squad for the upcoming World Twenty20 in the Caribbean after overlooking him for the 30-man team initially. A media release from SLC on Thursday said, "Jeevantha was included into the squad considering his outstanding performance in the recently concluded Bank of Ceylon Inter-Provincial Twenty20 tournament."
Kulatunga, 36, was one of most prolific batsmen in the tournament and played an integral part in helping Wayamba to the title. He was adjudged the Player of the Tournament after scoring 277 runs at 69.25, which included the only century of the series - his unbeaten 104 was the fastest Twenty20 century recorded in Sri Lanka.
However, Kulatunga's inclusion has made Sri Lanka's probables a 31-member contingent, though the release referred to it as a 30-member squad, SLC media manager Brian Thomas confirmed.
"The selectors took this decision lately," Thomas told the Daily Mirror, a Sri Lankan daily. "Then we had to get approval from the ICC for this inclusion. That's why we had to delay releasing the squad. Though we included Kulatunga, we have not removed any names from the squad."
Thomas also said the ICC had given permission for the change. "The ICC is actually not bothered if we name a 30, 31 or even a 50-member squad, because basically we are going to name a final 15-man squad for the tournament."
The 2010 World Twenty20 will be played from April 30 to May 16. Last-year's runners-up Sri Lanka have been drawn in Group B, along with New Zealand and Zimbabwe, and will be playing their league matches at the Providence Stadium in Guyana. They begin their campaign against New Zealand on April 30, which is also the tournament opener.
Sri Lanka probables squad for the 2010 World Twenty20: Kumar Sangakkara (capt), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Sanath Jayasuriya, Mahela Jayawardene, Chamara Kapugedara, Angelo Mathews, Chinthaka Jayasinghe, Thissara Perera, Muttiah Muralitharan, Ajantha Mendis, Suraj Randiv, Lasith Malinga, Dilhara Fernando, Nuwan Kulasekera, Thilan Thushara, Chanaka Welegedara, Suranga Lakmal, Farveez Maharoof, Isuru Udana, Malinga Bandara, Mahela Udawatte, Lahiru Thirimanne, Dinesh Chandimal, Muthumudalige Pushpakumara, Kaushalya Weeraratne, Kaushal Silva, Chamara Silva, Upul Tharanga, Jeewan Mendis, Nuwan Zoysa, Jeevantha Kulatunga