Sri Lanka's test captain Dimuth Karunaratne has announced that he will step down from the role after the Ireland series. Karunaratne's Sri Lanka recently went down in the two-match test series against New Zealand.
Sri Lanka finished fifth in the World Test Championship 2023 standings despite having a chance to qualify for the finals. The Lankan side needed to win the test series against the kiwis by 2-0 to stand a chance for qualification but a reverse outcome happened as they lost both matches. Notably, Karunaratne stated that the team should look at new beginnings in the new WTC cycle.
"I have informed the selectors that it's good to appoint a new captain for the new test cycle, so I am ready to step down after the Ireland series. I am yet to hear from selectors what they think about my decision, but I feel I need to give the new captain to start from the beginning of the new test cycle, rather than me stepping down from the middle of it," Karunaratne said.
Karunaratne got the captain's hat back in 2019 and he led his team to a historic test series win in South Africa. The Lankan side became the first Asian team in history to defeat the Proteas in their own backyard. Karunaratne has led his team in 26 test matches and has won 10 of them. The last match of the second edition of the World Test Championship was completed on Monday (March 20). New Zealand defeated Sri Lanka in the second and final Test match of the series by an inning and 58 runs to seal the contest 2-0. Sri Lanka will play in a two-match test series against Ireland, starting from April 16.
Sri Lanka's squad for the New Zealand test series:
Oshada Fernando, Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Dhananjaya de Silva, Nishan Madushka (wk), Kasun Rajitha, Prabath Jayasuriya, Lahiru Kumara, Asitha Fernando, Chamika Karunaratne, Ramesh Mendis, Kamindu Mendis, Milan Priyanath Rathnayake, Niroshan Dickwella, Vishwa Fernando
New Zealand's squad for the Sri Lanka test series:
Tom Latham, Devon Conway, Kane Williamson, Henry Nicholls, Daryl Mitchell, Tom Blundell (wk), Michael Bracewell, Doug Bracewell, Tim Southee (c), Matt Henry, Blair Tickner, Will Young, Scott Kuggeleij