by Rex Clementine
The National Selection Panel led by former fast bowler Pramodaya Wickramasinghe received high praise after meeting strict fitness guidelines and made no exceptions for those who failed to meet minimum fitness standards ahead of Sri Lanka’s India tour.
Top-notch batsman Bhanuka Rajapaksa is the biggest casualty as he was overlooked for the three-game T-20 series starting this week. Rajapaksa was in the Colombo bubble with seven other players training ahead of the Indain series.
Earlier this year, Rajapaksa announced his retirement from international duty but after the intervention of a VVIP, he took a turn pledging his solidarity with Sri Lanka Cricket. It has been reported that he will enjoy some fitness exceptions but to the selectors’ credit, they have stuck to their guns by requiring all players who intend to represent Sri Lanka to meet minimum standards. of physical condition.
Island learns that although Rajapaksa completed the two-kilometer run in the stipulated time of eight minutes and 35 seconds, his skinfold levels were above 100. Players must maintain skinfold levels below 80 to be eligible for selection.
With Rajapaksa getting an IPL deal, some expected the selectors to peddle softly, but they didn’t allow anyone to take shortcuts.
Earlier, several players became ineligible for selections after failing fitness tests.
The strict fitness regime imposed by Mickey Arthur was expected to fall once the former head coach left, but the selectors seem to have realized the importance of placing great importance on fitness.
The National Selection Board announced the squad for the Indian series yesterday and Rajapaksa was omitted.
The coaches have named 18 players to the squad for the three games of the T-20 series in India. The players who took part in the Australian T-20s flew to India last night direct from Melbourne via Singapore. They stayed in Delhi overnight and are expected to reach Lucknow today. The first game kicks off in the northern Indian city on Thursday. Avishka Fernando, Nuwan Thushara and Ramesh Mendis who were part of the Australian T20s returned home with injuries.
Meanwhile, Team Test players Dimuth Karunaratne, Angelo Mathews, Niroshan Dickwella, Lahiru Thirimanne, Suranga Lakmal and Lasith Embuldeniya are training in Colombo and are expected to leave for India on the 24th. of Covid yesterday when one of the net bowlers tested positive. But all seven test players returned negative PCR tests.
Sri Lanka T20 Squad for India: Dasun Shanaka (Captain) Charith Asalanka (Vice-Captain), Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal, Danushka Gunathilaka, Kamil Mishara, Janith Liyanage, Wanindu Hasaranga, Chamika Karunaratne, Dushmantha Chameera, Lahiru Kumara, Binura Fernando, Shiran Fernando, Maheesh Theekshana, Jeffrey Vandersay, Praveen Jayawickrama and Ashian Daniel.