Former captain Dasun Shanaka was not named in Sri Lanka’s 16-man squad for their upcoming three-match ODI series against Afghanistan. Shanaka most recently led the Sri Lankan side during the 2023 ODI World Cup, where they failed to get past the group stage.
Sri Lanka Cricket then made a host of changes, which began with the sacking of Shanaka as their captain. Since 2022, Shanaka’s performance in white-ball cricket has come under heavy criticism by pundits and fans alike. With only 584 runs from 32 innings in the last two years, the 32-year-old has maintained an average of just 20.13, which was not considered enough by the Sri Lankan selectors. The 29-year-old Kusal Mendis will be leading the Sri Lankan side during the Afghanistan series.
OTHER INS AND OUTS
Apart from Shanaka, the two other senior players who have been excluded from the squad are batter Nuwanidu Fernando and spin bowler Jeffrey Vandersay. All-rounder Chamika Karunaratne and Shevon Daniel have been included in the 16-man squad for the Afghanistan series.
The Sri Lankan team recently competed against Zimbabwe in a three-match ODI series, which they won 2-0. They will now aim to maintain the winning momentum as they face the Hashmatullah Shahidi-led Afghanistan side in their upcoming ODI series.
Sri Lanka’s dismal performance in the 2023 World Cup was always poised to instigate significant changes within the structure of the national cricket team and these exclusions are being regarded as the initial steps in this transformative process.
The two sides will meet for their first match on Friday, February 9, 2024 at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka full Squad
Kusal Mendis (c), Charith Asalanka (vc), Pathum Nissanka, Avishka Fernando, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Janith Liyanage, Wanindu Hasaranga, Maheesh Theekshana, Dushmantha Chameera, Dilshan Madushanka, Pramod Madushan, Sahan Arachchige, Akila Dananjaya, Dunith Wellalage, Chamika Karunaratne, and Shevon Daniel.
Afghanistan full Squad
Hashmatullah Shahidi (c), Rahmat Shah (vc), Rahmanullah Gurbaz (WK), Ikram Alikhil (WK), Ibrahim Zadran, Riaz Hassan, Azmatullah Omarzai, Mohammad Nabi, Gulbadin Naib, Qais Ahmad, Noor Ahmad, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Fazal Haq Farooqi, Naveed Zadran and Farid Ahmad Malik.
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