Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) on Thursday (24 November) announced a 16-member squad for the ODI series against Afghanistan starting on 25 November. Dasun Shanaka has been named the captain of the side. The likes of Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal, Wanindu Hasaranga, and Maheesh Theekshana have been named in the 16-member squad.
Swashbuckling batter Bhanuka Rajapaksa has also been named in the 16-member squad but the southpaw will not be featuring in any of the three ODIs. Rajapaksa has asked for a break from ODI cricket and SLC has obliged to the batter’s request.
“In the meantime, Bhanuka Rajapaksa has requested that Sri Lanka Cricket release him from the current squad, as he wants to take a break from ODI cricket. Accordingly, Rajapaksa will be released from the squad,” said SLC in a statement.
Meanwhile, Rajapaksa revealed the reason behind his request to SLC. The batter said that he wants to recover and refresh both physically and mentally. Rajapaksa also thanked the board for being supportive.
“Decided to withdraw from the ODi squad in hope to recover and refresh both physically and mentally. Have been playing with a few niggles that have begun to hamper me lately. Added to that, repeatedly being months away from home has definitely been a strain mentally,” tweeted Rajapaksa.
“Thank you @OfficialSLC for being supportive and understanding of this decision. All the best to the rest of the team and our captain @dasunshanaka1, I'm sure you will make us all proud.”
Sri Lanka Squad: Dasun Shanaka – Captain, Pathum Nissanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Charith Asalanka, Dinesh Chandimal, Kusal Mendis, Wanindu Hasaranga, Dunith Wellalage, Dananjaya Lakshan, Kasun Rajitha, Maheesh Theekshana, Pramod Madushan, Asitha Fernando, Ashen Bandara, Lahiru Kumara, Bhanuka Rajapaksa
1st ODI: 25 November 2022
2nd ODI: 27 November 2022
3rd ODI: 30 November 2022
Note: All matches will be played at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, Pallekele and will start at 2:30 PM IST.