Sri Lanka Picks Maheesh Theekshana for T20 World Cup
By Tanushka Gain
on Mon Sep 13 2021
Maheesh Theekshana has played only one T20I. He was included in Sri Lanka’s 15-man squad for the T20 World Cup to be held in UAE and Oman from 17 October to 14 November.
Meanwhile, Akila Dhananjay, Lahiru Kumara, Pulina Tharanga and Binura Fernando demoted to reserve. While Pathum Nisanka, Ramesh Mendis and Minod Bhanuka have been left out. All seven were part of Sri Lanka’s squad for the ongoing limited-overs series against South Africa.
Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis and Niroshan Dickwella are serving sanctions for violating the COVID-19 protocol. Angelo Mathews, on the other hand, is not a part of Sri Lanka’s contract list and is not available for selection.
Maheesh Theekshana, who bowled the off-spin as well as the carrom ball and googly, hit a four in his ODI debut against South Africa in Colombo. He also took a wicket in the only T20I he played against South Africa. The 21-year-old has also played 23 T20s. In which 22 wickets taken at an impressive average of 20.86. In March this year, in the Sri Lanka Cricket T20 tournament, Maheesh Theekshana took 2 wickets for 9 runs against Sri Lanka Navy Sports Club.
Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Kamindu Mendis have also made it to the team. Top-order batsman Rajapaksa has played just eight T20Is for his country. His 48-ball 77 in Lahore vs Pakistan in 2019 has been the highlight of his short career so far.
Having played four T20 Internationals, Kamindu is known for his all-rounder skills. Incidentally, Mendis can bowl both off-spin and a slow left-arm orthodox. Praveen Jayavikrama is yet to play a T20 International match. Also selected. The left-arm spinner, however, took 11 wickets in the only Test he played against Bangladesh. He has also earned five ODI caps.
Sri Lanka will begin their T20 World Cup campaign with a first round match against Namibia in Group A in Abu Dhabi on 18 October.
Sri Lanka squad: Dasun Shanaka (Captain), Dhananjay de Silva, Kusal Janith Perera, Dinesh Chandimal, Avishka Fernando, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Charit Aslanka, Vanindu Hasaranga, Kamindu Mendis, Chamika Karunaratne, Nuwan Pradeep, Dushmantha Chamira, Praveen Ch Jaya Madura Praveen Jaya, Maheesh Theekshana
Reserves: Lahiru Kumara, Binura Fernando, Akila Dhananjaya, Pulina Tharanga