Sri Lanka showcases cricketers in the ‘waiting game’ | Page 2 | Sunday Observer

Sri Lanka showcases cricketers in the ‘waiting game’

10 October, 2021
Sadeera Samarawickrema (Sri Lanka A captain)
Sadeera Samarawickrema (Sri Lanka A captain)

As many as 22 cricketers making up what is being touted as the second string team from which they aspire to represent Sri Lanka in Tests and ODIs, will be on show in a home series against Pakistan A this month captained by former St. Joseph’s College wicket-keeper batsman Sadeera Samarawickrema who will have much to prove after being in and out of the senior team.

Making up the Sri Lanka A team, they will play two four-day matches and three one-day matches in Pallekele and Dambulla.

The 26-year-old Samarawickrema has represented Sri Lanka in all three formats playing four Tests, seven ODIs and nine T20s and was out of the team due to inconsistency. The Pakistan A matches will be an opportunity not to be missed.

Other discards include fast bowlers Vishwa Fernando and Asitha Fernando and batsman Oshada Fernando while spinner Lasith Embuldeniya who had to leave the Sri Lanka team because of an injury is also part of the squad.

The budding players who will be closely watched by the selectors are wicket keeper batsman Kamil Mishara, ex-Sri Lanka U-19 skipper Nipun Dhananjaya de Silva, Nuwanidu Fernando paceman Himesh Ramanayake and the most successful wicket-taker and leg-spinner in the last inter club domestic season with 61 wickets Duvindu Tillekaratne who represented the Burgher Recreation Club (BRC) and is back from England after a season of League cricket.

The promising all-rounder Dhananjaya Lakshan and paceman Mohammad Shiraz are also included in the squad but both need to make a full recovery from injuries and will be subjected to a fitness test before the series.

A noteworthy inclusion into the squad is batsman Lahiru Udara Igalagamage from the Nondescripts Cricket Club (NCC) who smashed 1039 runs in the 2019-20 inter club season that included a career best 290.

Apart from skipper Samarawickrema, Igalagamage and Mishara who also keep wickets, another stumper Nishan Madushanka is also included.

Also nudging the selectors for international recognition will be former St. Joseph’s off-spinner Ashain Daniel, leg spinner Suminda Lakshan, ex-Thomian fast bowler Kalana Perera, Lasith Croosepulle, Sammu Ashan, Lasith Abeyratne and Sahan Arachchige.

The A team series between Sri Lanka and Pakistan will mark the first time in six months that a First Class match will be played in the country since the Bangladesh Test series.

The West Indies and Sri Lanka are scheduled to play in a two-Test series in Galle in December and the two four-day games against Pakistan A offers a good chance for the second string players to showcase themselves.

They will be under the guidance of head coach Rumesh Ratnayake who will be assisted by Sajeewa Weerakoon (spin bowling), Ruwin Peiris (batting) and Dharshana Gamage (fast bowling).

The Pakistan A squad is made up of several players with international experience.

Sri Lanka A squad: Sadeera Samarawickrema (Captain), Lahiru Udara Igalagamage, Nishan Madushka, Kamil Mishara, Oshada Fernando, Lasith Croospulle, Nuwanidu Fernando, Nipun Dhananjaya de Silva, Sahan Arachchige, Sammu Ashan, Lasith Abeyratne, Dhananjaya Lakshan, Mohammed Shiraz, Kalana Perera, Shiran Fernando, Asitha Fernando, Himesh Ramanayake, Vishwa Fernando, Lasith Embuldeniya, Suminda Lakshan, Ashain Daniel, Duvindu Tillakaratne