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February 17, 2014
Sri Lanka have announced a tried-and-tested squad for next month's World Twenty20 in Bangladesh. The only selection resembling something of a surprise was the inclusion of batting allrounder Chaturanga de Silva as a standby in case Rangana Herath doesn't recover in time for the tournament.
Chaturanga also features in Sri Lanka's Asia Cup squad, though as a confirmed member and not a back-up. The 15-man squad for the 50-over Asia Cup had only one change from the World Twenty20 side, batsman Ashan Priyanjan taking the place of spinner Seekkuge Prasanna. Mahela Jayawardene, who picked up a finger injury last week was selected in both squads.
Sri Lanka would have had an extended taste of Bangladesh conditions before the World Twenty20, arriving in the country in late January for a full series. They won the Test series 1-0, the Twenty20s 2-0 (both victories came off the last ball) and are currently playing the first of three ODIs. The Asia Cup, also in Bangladesh, starts later this month and leads up to the warm-up matches for the World Twenty20.
Chaturanga, 24, plays for Moors Sports Club, and has been part of Sri Lanka's A team over the past year. He has put in consistent performances in the ongoing home series against England Lions. He had previously been picked in the national squad for an ODI against South Africa last year.
World Twenty20 squad: Dinesh Chandimal (capt), Lasith Malinga (vice-capt), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kusal Perera, Kumar Sangakkara (wk), Mahela Jayawardena, Lahiru Thirimanne, Angelo Mathews, Thisara Perera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Suranga Lakmal, Rangana Herath / Chaturanga De Silva, Sachithra Senanayake, Ajantha Mendis, Seekuge Prasanna
Asia Cup squad: Angelo Mathews (capt), Dinesh Chandimal (vice- capt), Lasith Malinga, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kusal Perera, Kumar Sangakkara (wk), Mahela Jayawardena, Lahiru Thirimanne, Thisara Perera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Suranga Lakmal, Chaturanga De Silva, Sachithra Senanayake, Ajantha Mendis, Ashan Priyanjan
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The thrills are rather low-octane, the skills are a bit lightweight, and the tournament overly India-centric
Plays of the day from the CLT20 game between Kolkata Knight Riders and Chennai Super Kings
Kids mimic the cricket heroes of the day, so the problem of throwing must be tackled before players reach the first-class level
But you can't expect a turnaround unless pitches, umpiring and practice facilities are simultaneously improved