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Thirimanne and Shanaka appointed captains for Pakistan tour


Bipin Dani

Lahiru Thirimanne has replaced Dimuth Karunaratne as ODI captain and Dasun Shanaka will replace Lasith Malinga for the T-20I against Pakistan. 

Thirimanne appointed as ODI captain of Sri Lanka
Thirimanne is appointed as Sri Lankan ODI captain for Pakistan tour

Both Dimuth Karunaratne and Lasith Malinga, along with eight other players have refused to travel to Pakistan for the three ODI and three T-20I series beginning later this month in Karachi and Lahore.

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Sri Lankan selectors have selected the two teams for the Pakistan tour, it is learnt here.

The 30-year-old Lahiru Thirimanne will not be a part of the T-20I.

According to the highly placed sources in Sri Lanka, the three selectors met after the players were briefed on the security arrangements in Pakistan and picked two sides for three ODI’s and three T-20I.

Dasun Shanaka is appointed as Sri Lankan T20I captain
Dasun Shanaka is appointed as Sri Lankan T20I captain for Pakistan tour

“Barring one or two changes, the same lot will play both formats of the game”, the source informs.

“Before the selection meeting, some 27-players were briefed by the security expert and availability of each player was noted by the chief selector Ashantha de Mel”, the source privy to the information added.

“Thisara Perera, Shehan Jayasuriya and Dimuth Karunaratne were absentees as the latter two are in USA on a private visit and Thisara has been playing the CPLT-20 in West Indies”.

Thisara Perera, who last led the team on Pakistan tour in 2017 has preferred to skip the tour this time. Shehan Jayasuriya left on 7th September and is scheduled to return on Sunday and it is presumed to be in the team.

It may be noted here that both captains, chosen to-day were not part of the selection committee meeting.

The teams have been sent to the hon. sports minister Harin Fernando for his approval.

Rumesh Ratnayake and Nick Lee, who were present at the briefing have agreed to join the tour and hence the same support with an exception of Indian computer analyst will board a Pakistan flight, it is learnt here.

The sources also confirmed that the manager post for the Pakistan tour has been again offered to Ashantha De Mel. However, no clear-cut affirmative answer has yet been conveyed by him. If he accepts the job, he will again be officiating the dual role, i.e. manager and tour selector.

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