Angelo Mathews named vice-captain : Malinga out of T-20s


Lasith Malinga will not be part of the T-20 Internationals against Australia. (files)

by Rex Clementine

Fast bowler Lasith Malinga has been left out of the two T-20 Internationals against Australia that get underway next Saturday after the fast bowler complained of back pain during practices on Friday.

Malinga is expected to be out only for a week, but sources said that he could even miss the ODI series against the former world champions.

Following the ICC Cricket World Cup, the way Malinga announced his retirement from Test cricket ruffled more than a few feathers in cricket circles and there was more disappointment yesterday after he was ruled out of the series opener.

Chilaw-based medium paceman Saminda Eranga is the only uncapped player in the 16-member squad announced yesterday. He has been picked after an impressive performance for Sri Lanka ‘A’ against Durham in the just concluded four-day first class match at Chester-le-Street, which Sri Lanka lost by two wickets. Eranga was the hero for Sri Lanka top-scoring with an unbeaten half-century in the first innings and another unbeaten 45 in the second batting at number nine on both occasions. He also picked up seven wickets in the game and will fly home immediately to join the senior squad.

Angelo Mathews was named as vice-captain to Tillakaratne Dilshan and is expected to retain the position for the ODIs and Tests as well.

Middle-order batsman Chamara Silva returns to the side after missing the England tour along with all-rounder Dilruwan Perera, but there was no place for Chamara Kapugedara.

Fast bowler Suranga Lakmal, who missed the latter part of the recent tour of UK due to injury also has recovered and was named in the 16-man squad along with the man who replaced him in the UK tour, Dhammika Prasad.

Left-hander Thilina Kandamby, the man who captained Sri Lanka to victory in the last T-20 they played (against England at Bristol), was not named in the squad.

Left-arm spinner Rangana Herath, who was left out of the one-day leg of the tour of UK, has been recalled for the squad that has five specialist spinners.

Sri Lanka Squad for T-20s:

Tillakaratne Dilshan (Captain), Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara, Dinesh Chandimal, Angelo Mathews (Vice-Captain), Jeevan Mendis, Dilruwan Perera, Thisara Perera, Dhammika Prasad, Suranga Lakmal, Ajantha Mendis, Nuwan Kulasekara, Suraj Randiv, Rangana Herath, Chamara Silva and Shaminda Eranga.

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