No place for Mathews in Lankan squad for ICC World Cup Qualifier

Mathews fell cheaply against Afghanistan in the first ODI. File photo: AFP/ Ishara S Kodikara

Colombo: Veteran all-rounder Angelo Mathews has been left out while young pacer Matheesha Pathirana has been included in Sri Lanka's 15-man squad for the ICC World Cup Qualifier, set to be held in Zimbabwe from June 18-July 9.

Mathews, the former skipper, scored 12 runs from 21 balls as Sri Lanka lost to Afghanistan by six wickets in the first of the recently-concluded three-match series at Hambantota. He was subsequently dropped from the next two matches, which were won by the hosts.

Pathirana took 19 wickets in the recent season of the Indian Premier League (IPL), helping Chennai Super Kings to their fifth title. The 20-year-old, whose slingy action resembles pace bowling great Lasith Malinga, made his ODI debut earlier this month against Afghanistan.

Apart from him, 29-year-old Dushan Hemantha, who also entered the ODI arena against Afghanistan, has been included in the squad. Sri Lanka, the 1996 World Cup winners, are in Group B alongside the UAE, Oman, Ireland and Scotland.

They will play their first match of the tournament against the UAE on June 19. From the 10-team qualifying competition, the finalists will clinch the remaining two spots for the World Cup to be played in India in October-November.

The top three from each group will progress to the Super Six stage where each team will play three matches against the sides they did not meet in the group stage. All points won in the groups will be carried over to the Super Six stage, apart from those gained against the bottom two from each group, following which the finalists will be decided and secure their ticket to the World Cup.

Sri Lanka squad: Dasun Shanaka (capt), Kusal Mendis, Dimuth Karunaratne, Pathum Nissanka, Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Wanindu Hasaranga, Chamika Karunaratne, Dushmantha Chameera, Kasun Rajitha, Lahiru Kumara, Maheesh Theekshana, Matheesha Pathirana, Dushan Hemantha.

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