Lankans Pick Veteran Mathews for T20 World Cup

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (CMC):

Veteran all-rounder Angelo Mathews will feature in his sixth Twenty20 World Cup after being named in Sri Lanka’s 15-man squad for next month’s showpiece in the Caribbean and United States.

The stalwart, who turns 37 on the second day of the tournament and was only recalled to the shortest format at the start of the year following a three-year absence, was a member of the Sri Lanka side which captured the title at the 2014 edition of the tournament in Bangladesh, when they edged West Indies in a rain-affected semi-final in Dhaka.

Mathews has played 87 T20 Internationals and 207 T20s overall and will be the most experienced member of the side which will be led by leg-spinning all-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga.

Former T20 captain Dasun Shanaka has also been included along with One-Day International skipper Kusal Mendis and Test captain Dhananjaya de Silva.

Rookie speedster Matheesha Pathirana, 21, who has played only six T20Is but is currently campaigning in the Indian Premier League with Chennai Super Kings, will form part of an impressive pace attack that includes Nuwan Thushara, Dushmantha Chameera and left-armer Dilshan Madhushanka.

Left-arm spinner Dunith Wellalage, also 21, and 23-year-old off-spinner Maheesh Theekshana will join Hasaranga to form the spin attack.

Sri Lanka will compete in Group D of the June 1-29 tournament, alongside the likes of South Africa, Bangladesh, Nepal and the Netherlands.

They open their campaign on June 3 against South Africa at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York before travelling to Dallas for their second game against Bangladesh four days later.

The will then clash with Nepal in Florida on June 11 before playing their only fixture in the Caribbean when they take on the Netherlands in St Lucia on June 16.

Sri Lanka will leave for the World Cup next Tuesday.

SQUAD – Sri Lanka squad: Wanindu Hasaranga (captain), Charith Asalanka, Kusal Mendis, Pathum Nissanka, Kamindu Mendis, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Angelo Mathews, Dasun Shanaka, Dhananjaya De Silva, Mahesh Theekshana, Dunith Wellalage, Dushmantha Chameera, Nuwan Thushara, Matheesha Pathirana, and Dilshan Madushanka.


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