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News

SL Women pick uncapped Imesha Dulani for Pakistan white-ball tour

Chamari Athapaththu will lead the 15-member squad for the three T20Is and three ODIs

Achini Kulasuriya is congratulated by her team-mates, Bangladesh v Sri Lanka, Women's T20 World Cup, Group A, Melbourne, March 2, 2020

The Sri Lankan team will arrive in Pakistan for the white-ball series on May 19  •  Getty Images

Sri Lanka have made just two changes to the squad that emerged victors in the Commonwealth Games Qualifiers in January for their upcoming tour of Pakistan, which is set to kickstart the third edition of the ICC Women's Championship.
Tharika Sewwandi, the 21-year-old left-arm seamer, and Vishmi Gunaratne, the 16-year-old allrounder, were omitted from the squad. Imesha Dulani, the 20-year-old batter in search of her first senior cap, came into the team.
The 15-member strong squad otherwise remained unchanged from the side that won the Commonwealth Games Qualifiers. Chamari Athapaththu, who has been in excellent form for Falcons in the ongoing Fairbreak Invitational T20 tournament, will lead the team. Veteran left-arm seamer Udeshika Prabodhani - the only other Sri Lankan to take part in the women's T20 tournament, also found a place in the side.
This means Athapaththu and Prabodhani are the only two members of the squad to have played any sort of competitive cricket since the Commonwealth Games Qualifiers. The rest of the squad has had to make do with the Women's Inter-Club Division domestic 50-over tournament, which concluded in April.
It is, however, a side brimming with experience, with only five players - batters Dulani, Harshitha Madavi, Hasini Perera, allrounder Kavisha Dilhari and left-arm spinner Sachini Nisansala - less than the age of 30.
Athapaththu, 32, having played 84 ODIs and 89 T20Is, has the most cricket under her belt and will lead a batting line-up including fellow seniors Prasadani Weerakkody and Anushka Sanjeewani - who will likely take up the gloves - and the youthful trio of Dulani, Madavi and Perera.
The batting unit will further be aided by the likes of Kavisha Dilhari, Nilakshi de Silva, Ama Kanchana and Achini Kulasuriya, all of whom are capable with the ball as well.
The fast-bowling department will be spearheaded by Prabodhani and Oshadi Ranasinghe. Experienced left-arm spinner Inoka Ranaweera, meanwhile, was one of three left-arm spinners in the squad, the others being Sugandika Kumari and the 20-year-old Nisansala.
The tour to Pakistan will be Sri Lanka's first major series, aside from the qualifiers, since the 2020 T20 World Cup. The Sri Lankan team will arrive in Karachi on May 19 for the three T20Is on May 24, 26 and 28 followed by the ODIs on June 1, 3 and 4.