Sri Lanka Selectors Prioritize Experience for T20 World Cup

Sri Lanka Selectors Prioritize Experience for T20 World Cup

Sri Lanka’s selectors are prioritizing experience over youth as they finalize their squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup in June. This approach has led to the recall of Niroshan Dickwella for the T20I series in Bangladesh, following Kusal Perera’s withdrawal due to a respiratory infection.

The decision to favor experience means that promising young players like Vijayakanth Viyaskanth, Dunith Wellalage, Lasith Croospulle, and Shevon Daniel may have to wait for further opportunities with the national team. Viyaskanth, in particular, has impressed with his performances in the recent ILT20, claiming eight wickets in four games for MI Emirates at an economy rate of 5.43.

However, the selectors believe that Viyaskanth’s limited experience in international cricket (just one T20I) makes him a risk to include in the World Cup squad. “In T20s, we need a wicket-taking option, which is why we opted for Jeffrey [Vandersay] over someone like Dunith [Wellalage],” explained Upul Tharanga, the chairman of selectors. “We felt that Jeffrey was more of an attacking bowler in T20s.”

The selectors also had a lengthy discussion regarding Viyaskanth and Vandersay, with differing opinions within the committee. Ultimately, they decided to go with Vandersay’s experience, given the impending World Cup.

A similar rationale was applied to Dickwella’s selection ahead of Croospulle and Daniel. “We were looking for someone to play in the top order [with the injuries to Pathum Nissanka and Kusal Perera],” said Tharanga. “We looked at Shevon Daniel, Lasith Croospulle, and Dikka [Dickwella], but the first two are still quite young. It was difficult to pick them based purely on their most recent performances.”

Tharanga emphasized the importance of discipline within the team, acknowledging Dickwella’s past disciplinary issues. “Discipline is very important. We spoke to Dikka. The team is playing well, and we really haven’t had any issues with discipline in recent times. That’s a very important thing, it shows the unity of the team as well. Discipline needs to be the number one thing.”

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