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News

Lakshan Sandakan, Pathum Nissanka among five players Sri Lanka add to T20 World Cup squad

Lahiru Madushanka is left out from the original squad after failing to recover in time from a fractured collarbone

Debutants Pathum Nissanka and Ashen Bandara pose after receiving their T20I caps, West Indies vs Sri Lanka, 1st T20I, Coolidge, March 3, 2021

Pathum Nissanka and Ashen Bandara were among the five late inclusions for the T20 World Cup  •  AFP/Getty Images

Pathum Nissanka, Minod Bhanuka, Ashen Bandara, Lakshan Sandakan and Ramesh Mendis have been added to Sri Lanka's squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup, while Lahiru Madushanka is left out from the original squad after failing to recover in time from the fractured collarbone he suffered against South Africa.
The additions take Sri Lanka's travelling contingent to 23 players, including four reserves, though they scarcely add any weight in terms of international experience. While Sandakan has 20 T20I caps to his name, the other four have just 15 combined. It is also unlikely that any of them will make their way into Sri Lanka's preferred starting XI, though they do add much-needed injury cover.
As such, the inclusion of Sandakan, who had been omitted from Sri Lanka's recent home series against South Africa, means there will be four specialist spinners in the squad, with him joining Wanindu Hasaranga, Maheesh Theekshana and Praveen Jayawickrama.
In the highly-rated Nissanka, Sri Lanka have a potential future star with an impressive domestic record - his century on Test debut in the West Indies only reaffirmed his standing - though he is yet to impress in the shorter formats of the game. That said, he did get a few promising starts in the recently concluded SLC T20 Invitational, including an unbeaten 76 off 54 balls.
Bandara, meanwhile, was a surprise inclusion in Sri Lanka's tour of the West Indies earlier this year and is renowned for being a livewire in the field. However, aside from an unbeaten half-century in a losing cause against West Indies, he hasn't done much for the national side, having been dropped for the South Africa series following a modest showing against a weakened India.
In much the same way, both Bhanuka and Mendis have made little impression in the limited outings they've had for the national side.
While Sri Lanka begin their World Cup campaign with qualifiers against Namibia, Ireland and Netherlands, they will also play two T20Is against Oman in the lead-up to that, on October 7 and 9. The team will fly out for Oman on October 3.