Dimuth Karunaratne has been handed he captaincy of a Sri Lanka squad that will have to overcome plenty of distraction at the Cricket World Cup.
An ongoing investigation into widespread corruption in Sri Lanka Cricket has created a lot of uncertainty around the future of the game on the Island.
Former Sri Lanka paceman Chaminda Vaas felt that the squad was well balanced and had every chance of putting in a creditable display for the 1996 World Champions.
“For the last few months, Sri Lanka hasn’t done so well. But if you analyse the combination of the team which we picked for the World Cup, I’m pretty sure that the selectors have done the right thing,” he said. “We have to take it from there, and it’s up to the players to get themselves in and play well for the country.”
Vaas felt that veteran seamer Lasith Malinga would be key to the islanders causing a sensation at the 2019 Cricket World Cup.
“There is no doubt that Malinga is one of the best in the world, and the best in Sri Lanka,” he said. “We depend on him as a bowler, and he showed his leadership qualities.
“He has given 100 per cent for the team. We have seen him playing in Mumbai [in IPL] on one day and playing in Sri Lanka [in a domestic tournament] the next day. It shows the commitment he has, and the commitment he has to the team and the country. He will be the key for Sri Lanka cricket in the upcoming World Cup.”
Sri Lanka’s concerns will centre around their tendency to collapse under pressure and to rely heavily on Thisara Perera’s lower-order heroics. Veteran batsman Dinesh Chandimal has been made the scapegoat for recent poor displays and expelled into the international wilderness.
Sri Lanka Cricket World Cup squad
Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Avishka Fernando, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Jeffery Vandersay, Thisara Perera, Isuru Udana, Lasith Malinga, Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep, Jeevan Mendis, Milinda Siriwardana
Sri Lanka Cricket World Cup fixtures
1 June vs New Zealand – Cardiff
4 June vs Afghanistan – Cardiff
7 June vs Pakistan – Bristol
11 June vs Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka – Bristol
15 June vs Australia – The Oval
21 June vs England – Headingley
28 June vs South Africa – Durham
1 July vs West Indies – Durham
6 July vs India – Headingley