Sadeera Samarawickrama recalled for T-20s in South Africa


One of the finest young talents – the 23-year-old Sadeera Samarawickrama topped the averages in the recent domestic T-20 tournament.

One of the brightest young talents in the country Sadeera Samarawickrama has been called up to play the three match T-20 series in South Africa that gets underway next week.

Samarawickrama (23) didn’t feature in the Test or ODI legs of the South African tour and was picked for the T-20s after Kusal Janith Perera was ruled out with a hamstring injury.

KJP is expected to take two months to recover from the injury. The cut off date to submit World Cup squad is 30th of April. However, between 30th of April and 23rd of May (start of tournament support period) the team can be changed as selectors wish. Post May 23rd, permission is needed from Event Technical Committee for any changes and they must be in relation to injury.

A hard-hitting top order batsman, Samarawickrama topped the batting averages in the recent domestic T-20 tournament where he posted 236 runs after five games with an average of 59 and a strike rate of 126. He also posted a hundred and a half-century during the competition.

Former Test captain Suranga Lakmal also has been called up for the three match series after being overlooked for the five match ODI series

Leg-spinner Jeffrey Vandersay also gets a break for the first time since being sent home from the tour of West Indies last year on disciplinary grounds.

Angelo Mathews, the man tipped to lead the side for the ICC Cricket World Cup, however, was not recalled to the side although he has resumed playing domestic cricket since hurting his hamstring in New Zealand in December.

Another player snubbed is former captain Dinesh Chandimal, who finished the domestic T-20 series as the highest run getter. Chandimal scored 261 at an average of 43 and a strike rate of 129 with a hundred and a half-century.

Oshada Fernando, who impressed during the Test series in South Africa and was retained for the ODIs has been overlooked for T-20s.

Avishka Fernando, Priyamal Perera and Angelo Perera, the batsmen who were part of the ODI squad in South Africa have been retained.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka Cricket confirmed Head Coach Chandika Hathurusingha will return home after the fifth ODI in Cape Town to discuss with SLC his plans for the World Cup. Fielding Coach Steve Rixon will be in-charge of the team during the last three games in South Africa.

The first T-20 will be played on the 19th of March in Cape Town followed by the second game three days later in Centurion. The last game will take place on the 24th of March in Johannesburg. The national cricket team will arrive home after that having been overseas for four months.

Sri Lanka Squad: Lasith Malinga (Captain), Niroshan Dickwella, Avishka Fernando, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Perera, Dhananjaya de Silva, Kamindu Mendis, Priyamal Perera, Thisara Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Isuru Udana, Asitha Fernando, Akila Dananjaya, Jeffrey Vandersay and Lakshan Sandakan.

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