Young uncapped left-arm seamer Dilshan Madushanka was handed a maiden call-up as five-time champions Sri Lanka on Saturday announced an 18-member team for the Asia Cup 2022, beginning in Dubai next week. (More Cricket News)
Besides the the 21-year-old Madushanka, the squad, led by regular skipper Dasun Shanaka, also includes Ashen Bandara, who last represented Sri Lanka in July 2021 in a T20I against India. Charith Asalanka will be the vice-captain of the team.
Also returning to the T20I mix is the experienced duo of Dinesh Chandimal and Dhananjaya de Silva, and Jeffrey Vandersay, all of whom missed Sri Lanka's last T20I series against Australia at home in June which the visitors won by a 2-1 margin.
Binura Fernando and Kasun Rajitha, who were named in the original squad, will not tour owing to injuries sustained during the SLC Invitational T20 League 2022. Asitha Fernando and Pramod Madushan are the proposed replacements for the injured duo.
Meanwhile, fast bowler Dushmantha Chameera has been ruled out of Sri Lanka's Asia Cup 2022 squad with a leg injury. He sustained an injury on his left leg during the team practice. He has been replaced by Nuwan Thushara in the 18-man squad.
The tournament was originally scheduled to take place in 2022 but had to be postponed due to COVID-19 pandemic Sri Lanka was due to host the rescheduled tournament but with the economic and political crisis going in the island country, the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) shifted the six-team competition to the United Arab Emirates.
However, Sri Lanka Cricket remains as the host of the tournament. Started in 1984, the Asia Cup used to be played in ODI format until 2016 when the tournament was played for the first time in the shortest format of the game – as a preparation for the T20 World Cup a month after.
The Asia Cup 2022 will be the second time the competition will be played in T20 format – once again seen a pre-cursor to the T20 World Cup in Australia later in the year.
Sri Lanka’s Asia Cup Record
Sri Lanka have made 14 (13 in ODI format and 1 in T20s) Asia Cup appearances. The Island nation won the title five times in 1986, 1997, 2004, 2008 and 2014 (all ODI formats). In the lone T20 format so far, Sri Lanka’s best show was group stage.
Key Players To Watch Out For
Wanindu Hasaranga: Wanindu Hasaranga was Sri Lanka’s highest wicket-taker against Australia in T20s with five scalps from three games and the five-time champions would be crucial in UAE. An immediate choice for any captain, Hasaranga provides the team that balance with his batting abilities down the order.
Charith Alasanka: Sri Lanka would bank heavily on Charith Asalanka. The left-hander has been Sri Lanka’s highest run-getter against Australia. Moreover, Asalanka also has good memories in UAE having finished on the top of run-getters’ charts for Sri Lanka during the T20 World Cup last year.
Sri Lanka Squad For Asia Cup 2022
Dasun Shanaka (c), Danushka Gunathilaka, Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis, Charith Asalanka, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Ashen Bandara, Dhananjaya de Silva, Wanindu Hasaranga, Maheesh Theekshana, Jeffrey Vandersay, Praveen Jayawickrama, Chamika Karunaratne, Dilshan Madushanka, Matheesha Pathirana, Nuwanidu Fernando, Nuwan Thushara, Dinesh Chandimal.
Sri Lanka’s Asia Cup 2022 Fixtures
Sri Lanka will begin their Asia Cup 2022 campaign against Afghanistan in Group B in the tournament opener at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on August 27. They next play Bangladesh on September 1.
How To Watch Asia Cup 2022 In India?
Star Sports Network has the broadcast rights of Asia Cup 2022 in India. The Star Sports channels will live telecast the Asia Cup 2022 cricket tournament in India while Disney+ Hotstar will live stream the whole competition.