Sri Lanka squad for the upcoming Asia Cup 2023 has been announced. It is marked by a mix of injury-related setbacks and long-awaited comebacks.
Aiming to make a significant impact in the tournament, the island nation will have to navigate the challenges posed by key players' absence due to injuries.
Notably, leg-spinning all-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga, often considered a game-changer, is among the four pivotal Sri Lankan players who will be sidelined due to injuries. Joining him are pacers Dushmantha Chameera, Lahiru Madushanka, and Lahiru Kumara, all of whom have succumbed to various injuries.
The absence of this quartet has prompted the inclusion of rising talents Binura Fernando and Pramod Madushan, who have been drafted into the squad as replacements.
Despite his potential recovery during the latter stages of the tournament, Hasaranga's absence is a cautious move, driven by the imminent World Cup. The decision to prioritize his well-being over the immediate contest showcases the long-term perspective of the Sri Lankan team management.
Hasaranga recently performed admirably in the Lanka Premier League, topping the run-charts and wicket-takers list while also hitting the joint-most sixes and finishing as the captain of the league-winning team. He also walked away with the Player of the tournament award in an epic all-round show for the ages.
A good all-round squad despite absences
Adding to the injury list, Kusal Perera, making a return after a two-year hiatus, is presently recovering from a bout of flu. His awaited comeback is eagerly anticipated, and the team hopes he will join the squad as soon as he regains his health.
The squad's spin-bowling group boasts the likes of Dunith Wellalage, leg-spinner Hemantha, and Maheesh Theekshana. All-rounder Dhananjaya de Silva is set to lend his skills to the spin attack, while the pace department will be spearheaded by Kasun Rajitha.
The inclusion of CSK sensation Matheesha Pathirana adds an exciting dimension to the pace attack, supported by Madushan and Fernando. Captain Dasun Shanaka, renowned for his all-round abilities, is set to contribute to both the pace and batting fronts.
The batting order stands formidable, featuring the likes of Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis, Charith Asalanka, Dasun Shanaka, Dhananjaya de Silva, and Sadeera Samarawickrama. With a mix of experienced campaigners and emerging talents, Sri Lanka's Asia Cup journey promises an intriguing blend of skill and determination.
Sri Lanka take on Bangladesh in their opening game of the tournament on August 31. Afghanistan is the other member in Group B of Asia Cup 2023. Sri Lanka play Afghanistan on September 5 in the final league stage game in Lahore. The Super Fours start from September 6 in Lahore. Sri Lanka host the final of the tournament on September 17 in Colombo.
Sri Lanka squad for the Asia Cup 2023
Dasun Shanaka (c), Kusal Mendis (wk), Kusal Perera, Dhananjaya de Silva, Maheesh Theekshana, Matheesha Pathirana, Charith Asalanka, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Binura Fernando, Pramod Madushan, Pathum Nissanka, Dimuth Karunaratne, Dunith Wellalage, Kasun Rajitha, Dushan Hemantha.