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Shanaka dropped for Afghanistan ODIs; Nissanka and Karunaratne return

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Pathum Nissanka had missed the Zimbabwe series due to injury

Opening batter Pathum Nissanka, who missed the recent series against Zimbabwe due to injury, is back for the upcoming three-match ODI series against Afghanistan, beginning on Friday (February 9). All-rounder Chamika Karunaratne also returns to the mix while former captain Dasun Shanaka is the notable omission from the Zimbabwe series in the 16-member squad announced by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC).

Shanaka’s form with the bat in white-ball cricket has been under the scanner since 2022. Over the last two years, the 32-year-old has only tallied 584 runs from 32 innings at an underwhelming average of 20.13 while the strike-rate of 87.55 is also ordinary for a batter who has primarily played as the designated finisher. The other senior player who continues to be out of the selectors’ radar is Dhananjaya de Silva. The newly appointed Test captain hasn’t featured in ODIs since the 2023 World Cup.

Kusal Mendis continues to captain the side with Charith Asalanka donning the deputy’s role. Core of the squad that featured in the Zimbabwe series has been retained with Jeffrey Vandersay being the one to miss out among the bowlers. His spot has been taken up by Karunaratne as the selectors look to add more balance to the squad. Janith Liyanage, who starred in a famous heist win against Zimbabwe, keeps his spot while Shevon Daniel and Sahan Arachchige also keep their spots.

All the games in the series are to be played at the Pallekele International Stadium in Pallekele on February 9, 11 and 14.

Squad: Kusal Mendis (c), Charith Asalanka (vc), Pathum Nissanka, Avishka Fernando, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Janith Liyanage, Wanindu Hasaranga, Maheesh Theekshana, Dushmantha Chameera, Dilshan Madushanka, Pramod Madushan, Sahan Arachchige, Akila Dananjaya, Dunith Wellalage, Chamika Karunaratne, and Shevon Daniel.



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Navy intercept multi-day fishing trawler carrying 200kg of narcotics

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It has been reported that the Sri Lanka Navy has intercepted a multi-day fishing trawler carrying around 200kg of narcotics suspected to be heroin and crystal methamphetamine (‘Ice’) off the southern coast of the island.

The boat and crew  were to be brought to the Galle Harbour,

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Advisory for Severe Lightning issued to Western, Southern, Sabaragamuwa, Northern and North-western provinces and in Monaragala district today (12)

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Advisory for Severe Lightning issued by the natural hazards early warning center at 01.30 p.m. to 11.30 p.m. on 12 April 2024

Thundershowers accompanied by severe lightning are likely to occur at several places in Western, Southern, Sabaragamuwa, Northern and North-western provinces and in Monaragala district.

There may be temporary localized strong winds during thundershowers.

General public is kindly requested to take adequate precautions to minimize damages caused by lightning activity.

ACTION REQUIRED:

The Department of Meteorology advises that people should:
• Seek shelter, preferably indoors and never under trees.

• Avoid open areas such as paddy fields, tea plantations and open water bodies during thunderstorms.

• Avoid using wired telephones and connected electric appliances during thunderstorms.

• Avoid using open vehicles, such as bicycles, tractors and boats etc.

• Beware of fallen trees and power lines.

• For emergency assistance contact the local disaster management authorities.
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US restricts travel for employees in Israel amid fears of Iran attack

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A view of the Tel Aviv skyline (BBC)

The United States has restricted travel for its employees in Israel amid fears of an attack by Iran.

The US embassy said staff had been told not to travel outside the greater Jerusalem, Tel Aviv or Beersheba areas “out of an abundance of caution”.

Iran has vowed to retaliate, blaming Israel for a strike on its consulate in Syria 11 days ago, killing 13 people.

UK Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron has phoned his Iranian counterpart to urge against further escalation.

Israel has not claimed responsibility for the consulate attack but is widely considered to have been behind it.

(BBC)

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