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Theekshana, Jayawickrama make the cut as Sri Lanka announce T20 World Cup squad

Sri Lanka have confirmed their 15-member squad for the upcoming ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021.

The squad will be led by Dasun Shanaka as the team begin their campaign on 18 October against Namibia in Abu Dhabi in Group A of the First Round, where they have also drawn Ireland and the Netherlands.

The only major omissions from the squad were Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Mendis and Danushka Gunathilaka, who were banned for a year for breaking the Covid-19 protocols on their tour of England in July. With Kusal Perera's return after an injury, Minod Bhanuka, who was keeping the wickets in Perera's absence, also misses out.

21-year-old off-spinner Maheesh Theekshana, who made his T20I debut in the first match against South Africa and dismissed Heinrich Klaasen, has been included. The youngster was also impressive in his ODI debut earlier this week, picking up a four-wicket haul. The other spinners making the squad are left-armer Praveen Jayawickrama, who made his international debut earlier this year, and Wanindu Hasaranga.

Sri Lanka – ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021
Sri Lanka – ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021

Jayawickrama is the only uncapped member in the squad but has been included on the basis of his terrific performances in other formats. He had an excellent Test debut against Bangladesh in April, picking up 11 wickets in the match. He also has played five ODIs so far and picked up five wickets.

The fast bowling department will be led by Dushmantha Chameera along with veteran seamer Nuwan Pradeep and all-rounder Chamika Karunaratne. 

They have also named four reserves, who will travel with the squad as injury cover – Lahiru Kumara, Binura Fernando, Akila Dananjaya and Pulina Tharanga.

Squad: Dasun Shanaka (c), Dhananjaya De Silva, Kusal Janith Perera, Dinesh Chandimal, Avishka Fernando, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Charith Asalanka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Kamindu Mendis, Chamika Karunaratne, Nuwan Pradeep, Dushmantha Chameera, Praveen Jayawickrama, Lahiru Madushanka, Maheesh Theekshana.

Reserves: Lahiru Kumara, Binura Fernando, Akila Dananjaya, Pulina Tharanga.