Sri Lanka has announced their squad for T20 matches against India starting 24th February. Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka’s top-order batter has been dropped for the three-match series. Earlier, he had announced his retirement from all formats of the game but withdrew it later on.
The 30-year old was in the bio-bubble preparing for the tour to India but was dropped at the last moment. According to the reports, Rajapaksa was dropped for concerns about his fitness. When he announced his retirement last month, he stated family obligations as the main reason for his decision.
The statement released by Sri Lanka Cricket upon his retirement withdrawal said, “Pursuant to a meeting with the Hon. Namal Rajapaksa – Minister of Youth & Sports and after consulting with the National Selectors, Bhanuka Rajapaksa has notified SLC that he wishes to withdraw his resignation which he tendered to SLC on 3rd Jan. 2022, with immediate effect. In his letter to SLC withdrawing his resignation, he further states that he wishes to represent his country in the game he loves for the years to come.”
The left-hander last played a T20 game in November last year. He last played an ODI game in September of the same year. He was also not selected to play against Australia which they lost 4-1. Rajapaksa is fairly new to international cricket. He made his debut against Pakistan in October 2019. He has played 18 games since then and has an average of 26.6 runs out of the total 320 runs. With 5 games in the ODI format, Rajapaksa has 89 runs at an average of 17.8. He got picked by Punjab in the Indian T20 League mega auction for a price of 50 lakhs.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka squad boast of some regulars like Kusal Mendis, Charith Asalanka, Danushka Gunathilaka and skipper Dasun Shanaka. However, Kusal Perera, Avishka Fernando and Ramesh Mendis will miss the series due to injuries.
Sri Lanka’s squad for T20
Dasun Shanaka (c), Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis, Charith Asalanka, Dinesh Chandimal, Danushka Gunathilaka, Kamil Mishara, Janith Liyanage, Wanindu Hasaranga, Chamika Karunaratne, Dushmantha Chameera, Lahiru Kumara, Binura Fernando, Shiran Fernando, Maheesh Theekshana, Jeffrey Vandersay, Praveen Jayawickrama, Ashian Daniel (Subjected to Ministerial approval)