Tuesday July 16, 2024

Sri Lanka retain Shanaka as skipper for World Cup

September 27, 2023

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka retained out-of-form skipper Dasun Shanaka on Tuesday in its 15-member squad for next month´s World Cup in India despite pressure from fans and the media to drop him.

The island nation is still smarting from its ignominious defeat by India at the six-nation Asia Cup finals this month in which they were all out for just 50 runs.

The thrashing on home soil prompted scathing social media attacks on the board and its players, and demands for Shanaka´s sacking. "Perhaps it´s time Sri Lanka moved on from Shanaka before the country ends up being an absolute joke in the World Cup," the Daily Mirror said in a scathing editorial last week.

But after much internal debate, the board decided to stick with him and the rest of the team, a Sri Lanka Cricket source told AFP. Bowling all-rounder Wanidu Hasaranga is still recovering from injury and was not included in the squad but could still play in the tournament if his condition improves, the board said.

The board said in a Friday statement that selectors and officials "were in agreement that the national team is in the right direction towards making further progress". It said they were "optimistic that the upcoming World Cup will bring glory to the nation". Sri Lanka won the 1996 title and has reached the finals twice, in 2007 and 2011.