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CSK pacer Matheesha Pathirana rewarded for impressive IPL season, called in Sri Lanka's ODI squad

Sri Lanka have announced a 16-member squad for the first two ODIs against Afghanistan. Matheesha Pathirana has received a call for the 50-over format.

Varun Malik Written By: Varun Malik New Delhi Published on: May 30, 2023 21:37 IST
Matheesha Pathirana
Image Source : GETTY Matheesha Pathirana

Chennai Super Kings pacer and Indian Premier League 2023 winner Matheesha Pathirana has been rewarded for his impressive IPL season. The 20-year-old death bowling specialist has been called by the Sri Lankan team for the ODI series against Afghanistan. Sri Lanka on Tuesday announced a 16-member squad for the first two matches of a three-match series against Afghanistan at home. The island nation gears up for the ODI World Cup 2023 in India.

Taking to Twitter, Sri Lanka Cricket Board wrote, "SQUAD ANNOUNCEMENT. Sri Lanka have named a 16-member ODI squad for the first two games of the ODI series vs. Afghanistan, starting on 2nd June."

Notably, Pathirana, who is known as 'Baby Malinga' for his slingy bowling action, has played in T20Is for Sri Lanka but is yet to make his debut in longer formats. If he gets his cap in any game, he will be making his ODI debut. 

Meanwhile, Dushmantha Chameera has returned to the team after a long injury break and he will lead the pace battery. Batter Dimuth Karunaratne has also been called after he played his last ODI game in 2021. Notably, Kusal Perera misses out due to a hamstring injury and Sadeera Samarawickrama returns to the 50-over format after four years. Dasun Shanaka is the captain of the team.

The series is crucial for Sri Lanka to begin their preparations for the ODI World Cup Qualifier as they failed to earn direct entry to the World Cup. Sri Lanka finished in 10th place in the ICC World Cup Super League, 2 places outside of the automatic qualification spot. They now have to take a longer route if they have to play the quadrennial event in India.

Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan series begins on June 2 and the second and third matches will be played on June 4 and 7, respectively. The World Cup Qualifier will be played in Zimbabwe. It will start from June 18 and will be played till July 9.

Squad for the 1st two ODIs against Afghanistan:

Dasun Shanaka (Captain), Kusal Mendis, Pathum Nissanka, Dimuth Karunaratne, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya De Silva, Charith Asalanka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Maheesh Theekshana, Dushan Hemantha, Chamika Karunaratne, Dushmantha Chameera, Matheesha Pathirana, Lahiru Kumara, Kasun Rajitha.

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