After as many as ten Sri Lankan cricketers voluntarily opted out of the upcoming tour of Pakistan over security fears, Sri Lanka named a squad comprising of players with relatively lesser experience for the One-Day Internationals and Twenty20 Internationals. While Lahiru Thirimanne will lead the ODI side, Dasun Shanaka has been named skipper for the T20I side given that the regular captains were among those who chose to stay away.
Batsman Minod Banuka is the only uncapped player in the ODI squad, while he is joined by Bhanuka Rajapakshain the T20I squad. Danushka Gunathilaka and Lakshan Sandakan return to the side for both series after having been dropped for the home ODIs against Bangladesh.
Among those who opted out are Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Janith Perera, Dhananjaya De Silva, Thisara Perera, Akila Dhananjaya, Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Suranga Lakmal, Dinesh Chandimal and Dimuth Karunaratne, opening the door of opportunity for the youngsters to step in.
The players were given the freedom to decide on their availability after a security briefing with the national cricket board that was aimed at bringing the players up to date about the measures being put in place for the tour in Pakistan. It was in 2009 that the Sri Lankan team bus came under militant attack in Lahore during the tour. This limited-overs series will be Sri Lanka’s first full tour of the country since then, though they have played one T20I game of a three-match series against Pakistan about two years ago, in Lahore in October 2017.
Sri Lanka’s tour comprises of three ODIs in Karachi and as many T20Is in Lahore between September 27 and October 9, before they return for a Test series that will be a part of the World Test Championship.
ODI Squad:Lahiru Thirimanne (c), Danushka Gunathilaka, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Avishka Fernando, Oshada Fernando, Shehan Jayasuriya, Dasun Shanaka, Minod Bhanuka, Angelo Perera, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lakshan Sandakan, Nuwan Pradeep, Isuru Udana, Kasun Rajitha, Lahiru Kumara
T20I Squad:Dasun Shanaka (c), Danushka Gunathilaka, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Avishka Fernando, Oshada Fernando, Shehan Jayasuriya, Angelo Perera, Bhanuka Rajapaksha, Minod Bhanuka, Lahiru Madushanka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lakshan Sandakan, Isuru Udana, Nuwan Pradeep, Kasun Rajitha, Lahiru Kumara