Rajapaksa Makes a U-Turn

CEYLON TODAY | Published: 2:00 AM Jan 14 2022
Sports Rajapaksa Makes a U-Turn

Bhanuka Rajapaksa has withdrawn his decision to retire from international cricket, the Sri Lanka Cricket Board (SLC) confirmed yesterday.

Just over a week ago on 3 January Rajapaksa announced to the Board his decision to retire from international cricket with immediate effect, citing family obligations. In his retirement letter, Rajapaksa wrote: “I have very carefully considered my position as a player, husband and am taking this decision looking forward to fatherhood and associated familial obligations.”

However, on Thursday (13) a release from SLC stated: “Pursuant to a meeting with the Hon. Namal Rajapaksa - Minister of Youth & Sports and after consulting with the National Selectors, Bhanuka Rajapaksa has notified SLC that he wishes to withdraw his resignation which he tendered to SLC on 3rd Jan. 2022, with immediate effect.

“In his letter to SLC withdrawing his resignation, he further states that he wishes to represent his country in the game he loves for years to come.”

Rajapaksa made his T20I debut in 2019 in Lahore against Pakistan. He has so far played 18 matches and scored 320 runs at an average of 26.66. He debuted in the 50-over format in 2021 in Colombo against India and tallies 80 runs at 17.80 in five games. He recently led the Galle Gladiators to finish as runners-up in the second edition of the Lanka Premier League, where the Gladiators went down by 23 runs against the Thisara Perera-led Jaffna Kings.

Kamil Mishara tests positive for COVID-19

Kamil Mishara, who was expected to be part of Sri Lanka ODI squad to face Zimbabwe, has tested positive for Covid-19.  

The 20-year-old Mishara is the third Sri Lankan player to miss out on the upcoming series due to COVID-19, after opening batter Avishka Fernando and middle order batter Janith Liyanage tested positive for COVID-19 last week.

Mishara has been placed in quarantine under health guidelines of the medical authorities. The 3-match ODI series, which is part of the ICC Cricket World Cup Super League, will commence on 16 January. The next two matches will be played at the same venue on January 18 and 21 respectively. All matches will be played at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, Kandy. 

Three uncapped pacers in Sri Lanka squad 

Uncapped pacers Nuwan Thushara, Chamika Gunasekara and Shiran Fernando have been named in the Sri Lanka squad for the three-match ODI series against Zimbabwe. Dhananjaya de Silva will miss the series because of paternity leave, while the hosts will also miss the services of Avishka Fernando, Janith Liyanage and Kamil Mishara after the three players tested positive for COVID-19.

Sri Lanka Cricket also confirmed that Lahiru Kumara and Kalana Perera were not picked for failing to meet fitness standards, while Wanindu Hasaranga will also not be part of the series. 

Thushara bagged 5 for 13 in the Lanka Premier League for Galle Gladiators against Jaffna Kings before the final, and was the second-highest wicket-taker in the tournament. He has featured in 15 List A matches and bagged 11 wickets so far. 

Gunasekara’s most recent notable performance was against Pakistan A, where he had a match bag of 6 for 83 in a first-class contest, while Shiran has 26 wickets to show from as many List A matches.

Squad: Dasun Shanaka (c), Pathum Nissanka, Minod Bhanuka, Charith Asalanka, Maheesh Theekshana, Chamika Karunaratne, Jeffrey Vandersay, Nuwan Thushara, Ramesh Mendis, Praveen Jayawickrama, Dushmantha Chameera, Chamika Gunasekera, Dinesh Chandimal, Kusal Mendis, Nuwan Pradeep, Shiran Fernando, Kamindu Mendis.

Standby players: Ashen Bandara, Pulina Tharanga, Nimesh Vimukthi, Ashian Daniel, Asitha Fernando, Vishwa Fernando


CEYLON TODAY | Published: 2:00 AM Jan 14 2022

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