Sri Lanka Cricket has named a youthful 15-member squad to tour South Africa from the 29th of January – 18th February for 3 ODIs and 3 T20Is. This will be Sri Lanka’s 1st International assignment since the World T20 in November 2018.
The World T20 saw Sri Lanka miss out on the Semi-finals, losing to both South Africa and the West Indies but the win against reigning Asian Champions Bangladesh was a welcome boost to the team and their newly reappointed coach Harsha De Silva.
With the next T20 World Cup in 2020 and the Women’s World Cup in 2021, the management is looking to blood a few youngsters, fitting them alongside the experienced heads in the Lankan lineup. With this in mind, 21-year-old left arm pacie Tharika Sewwandi has been included in the national squad for the first time and will join her former Colts CC teammate Harshitha Samarawickrama on tour. Off spinner Kaveesha Dilhari has also retained her place in the squad, after impressing during the India’s tour of Sri Lanka in September 2018. Uncapped Umesha Thimashini has also been included in the national squad for the first time, subject to fitness.
Apart from this, Prasadini Weerakkody, Anushka Sanjeewani, Imalka Mendis, Achini Kulasooriya and Inoka Ranaweera have also found their way back into the squad after missing out on the World T20, making it 8 changes in all to the team that travelled to the Caribbean last November.
It is apparent that the management is looking to invest in the younger generation, with the likes of Dilani Manodara, Sripali Weerakkody and Eshani Lokusooriya all missing out on the squad.
Much will depend on the two real stars in Sri Lanka’s lineup, Captain Chamari Atapattu and Shashikala Siriwardena, particularly with South Africa having the better of the Lankans in the recent past.
The 3 T20Is will precede the ODIs and a welcome initiative by Cricket South Africa will see the T20Is televised.
Read More : CSA announce dates for Sri Lanka women’s tour of South Africa
The 3 ODIs will be a part of the Women’s Championship and the results here will reflect on the team’ chances of direct qualification to the ICC Women’s World Cup in 2021, scheduled to be held in New Zealand.
Sri Lanka squad
Chamari Atapattu – Captain, Prasadani Weerakkody, Anushka Sanjeewani, Tharika Sewwandi, Hasini Perera, Imalka Mendis, Harshitha Samarawickrama, Shashikala Siriwardena, Nilakshi De Silva, Umesha Thimashini ( Subject to fitness), Kaveesha Dilhari, Achini Kulasooriya, Udeshika Probodani, Inoka Ranaweera, Oshadi Ranasinghe
Sri Lanka Tour to South Africa Match Schedule
- 1 February – 1st T20I (Cape Town)
- 3 February – 2nd T20I (Johannesburg)
- 6 February – 3rd T20I (Centurion)
ICC Women’s Championship ODI series
- 9 February – Warm Up Match, TBC v Sri Lanka (Potchefstroom)
- 11 February – 1st ODI (Potchefstroom)
- 14 February – 2nd ODI (Potchefstroom)
- 17 February – 3rd ODI (Potchefstroom)