Sri Lanka have named their 16-man squad for the forthcoming Asia Cup 2018 that will begin from 15th September in the United Arab Emirates. Veteran pacer Lasith Malinga has been included in the setup to add strength to the bowling lineup. Left-arm spinner Amila Aponso also makes his return to the side after a string of good performances at the domestic circuit.
Angelo Matthews will lead the side for this year’s competition. Kusal Perera will play as the first-choice keeper as Niroshan Dickwella was not included in the 16-man squad for the Asia Cup 2019. However, he is on standby if anyone of players gets injured during the course of the competition.
Malinga was dropped from the side following his poor-form in the one-day series against India played in 2017. Danushka Gunathilaka has been handed out a six-match ban after breaching the code of conduct rules set by Sri Lanka Cricket Board. He failed to meet the standards required for a player to meet contractual obligations.
Lakshan Sandakan and Lahiru Kumara are exciting prospects in the bowling department. Shehan Jayasuriya is also one player for the future as he has done well at the domestic level. Dickwella could not find a place in the side after managing only 158 runs from 5 one-day games played against South Africa at home.
Sandakan and Aponso have not played much limited-overs cricket for Sri Lanka and will be keen to get their opportunity in the upcoming Asia Cup. Aponso last played for Sri Lanka against Zimbabwe in June 2017. The 25-year old spinner was excellent in the Sri Lanka T20 League and rightfully deserved his return to the limited-overs squad.
Sri Lanka squad: Angelo Mathews (captain), Dinesh Chandimal, Akila Dhananjaya, Dilruwan Perera, Thisara Perera, Dasun Shanaka, Kusal Perera (wk), Upul Tharanga, Lasith Malinga, Kusal Mendis, Lakshan Sandakan, Suranga Lakmal, Dhananjaya de Silva, Danushka Gunathilaka, Dushmantha Chameera, Amila Aponso.