Tuesday, July 23, 2024

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    Sri Lanka Announces Squad for ICC Cricket World Cup 2023

    Sri Lanka retains captain Dasun Shanaka despite poor form, while star all-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga misses out due to injury.

    In the run-up to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 in India, Sri Lanka has unveiled its 15-member squad, making a few notable decisions that have raised eyebrows among cricket enthusiasts.

    The most attention-grabbing move is the retention of skipper Dasun Shanaka, who has been struggling with a poor run of form. Despite his recent struggles on the field, the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) selectors have chosen to keep faith in his leadership for the upcoming tournament.

    In a surprising turn of events, star all-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga and fast bowler Dushmantha Chameera have been omitted from the squad. Chameera suffered a pectoral muscle injury during the Lanka Premier League (LPL) last month, while Hasaranga was sidelined due to a hamstring injury, causing him to miss the Asia Cup, where Sri Lanka lost to India in the final.

    The SLC clarified in a statement, “Wanindu Hasaranga has not been included in the 15-member squad as the player is still in the process of recovering from an injury. His recovery will be monitored, and if he is declared fit to play, he will be considered as a replacement in the event of an injury to a squad member during the tournament.”

    The absence of Hasaranga is a significant setback for the 1996 World Cup champions, as the 26-year-old had emerged as the leading wicket-taker in the last two T20 World Cups. In his stead, leg-spinning all-rounder Dushan Hemantha has been named as a like-for-like replacement in the squad, while Chamika Karunaratne will serve as the traveling reserve player.

    Sri Lanka’s recent cricketing woes have added pressure to the team’s performance in the World Cup. The ignominious 10-wicket home defeat by India in the Asia Cup final earlier this month, where Sri Lanka was bowled out for just 50 runs, led to scathing criticism on social media and calls for Dasun Shanaka’s removal.

    The Daily Mirror, in a strongly-worded editorial, stated, “Perhaps it’s time Sri Lanka moved on from Shanaka before the country ends up being an absolute joke in the World Cup.”

    Despite the criticisms, the board released a statement reaffirming their confidence in the team’s direction and prospects. They expressed optimism that the upcoming World Cup would bring glory to the nation.

    Sri Lanka, a former World Cup champion, has reached the final on two subsequent occasions in 2007 and 2011. The team is scheduled to depart for India shortly and will commence their World Cup campaign with a match against South Africa on October 7.

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