Dhananjaya to return for West Indies tour following father's funeral

Chandika Hathurusingha talks to Dhananjaya de Silva in training AFP

Dhananjaya de Silva will take his place in the Sri Lanka squad only 12 days after his father was killed outside the family home, just south of Colombo. Dhananjaya had originally intimated that he would withdraw from the tour of West Indies, due to this extremely distressing personal situation. But following the funeral, he is believed to be keen to return to his cricket.

As Dhananjaya will only land in the West Indies on Monday, after more than 30 hours in transit, however, he is unlikely to be available for the first Test, which begins from Wednesday. He will aim to be available for the second Test. Dhananjaya is Sri Lanka's incumbent No. 3 batsman, having hit two centuries in his four most-recent innings there. This included a match-saving fourth-innings ton in Delhi, last December.

Dhananjaya's father, an elected councillor at the Dehiwala-Mt. Lavinia Municipal Council, was gunned down in Rathmalana on May 23 - the evening before his son was originally due to fly to the Caribbean with the remainder of the Sri Lanka squad.

Through the whole ordeal, Sri Lanka Cricket has maintained that Dhananjaya can make his return to the Sri Lanka squad whenever he feels comfortable doing so. Team management did not name a replacement for Dhananjaya, even when initially it was thought he would be unavailable for the whole tour. They kept his spot open instead.