Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Sri Lanka have recalled veteran pace bowler Lasith Malinga for the Asia Cup in the United Arab Emirates later this month.
Malinga’s recall comes as a surprise, especially since he hasn’t played international cricket since September last year.
However, he has been playing domestic Twenty20 cricket in Sri Lanka as of late, and taken three wickets in six games.
Interestingly, Malinga missed the provincial one-day tournament in May and June this year in order to take up a consultancy position with the Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Meanwhile, batsman Danushka Gunathilaka, who was suspended for the limited overs portion of the recent series against South Africa due to a curfew violation, is back in the team.
However, leg-spinner Jeffrey Vandersay failed to make the cut as the selectors have instead decided to pick left-arm spinner Amila Aponso and off-spinner Dilruwan Perera, who last played limited overs cricket in April 2017.
Lahiru Kumara was also left out of the side, but Suranga Lakmal, Kasun Rajitha and Dushmantha Chameera, who has recovered from an injury, have been included in the team.
The most shocking omission from the squad was wicketkeeper-batsman Niroshan Dickwella as he has made decent contributions as of late.
In the recent ODI series against South Africa, he made scores of 2, 69, 10, 34 and 43. Despite this, he could not keep hold of his spot in the side.
Sri Lanka’s Asia Cup Squad: Angelo Mathews (capt), Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis, Upul Tharanga, Dinesh Chandimal, Danushka Gunathilaka, Thisara Perera, Dasun Shanaka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Akila Dananjaya, Dilruwan Perera, Amila Aponso, Kasun Rajitha, Suranga Lakmal, Dushmantha Chameera, Lasith Malinga