Akila Dananjaya returns to Sri Lanka side for ODIs against Bangladesh

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 25 July 2019, 04:35 PM
Akila Dananjaya was cleared of bowling in international cricket in February 2019 but was not included in the Sri Lanka squad for the World Cup. (Image credit: ICC Twitter)
Akila Dananjaya was cleared of bowling in international cricket in February 2019 but was not included in the Sri Lanka squad for the World Cup. (Image credit: ICC Twitter)
HIGHLIGHTS
    • Lasith Malinga will retire after the end of the first ODI.
    • Akila Dananjaya will play for the first time since December 2018.
    • Malinga is the third-highest wicket-taker for Sri Lanka in ODIs.

Akila Dananjaya’s career was at the crossroads after his action was deemed illegal in December 2018. He remodeled his action and was cleared by the International Cricket Council in February 2019 but he was not selected in the World Cup squad. Sri Lanka failed to qualify for the knock-out stages of the tournament as they finished in sixth spot. Ahead of the series against Bangladesh, Dananjaya has been picked in the side as the lone specialist spinner for the three-match ODI series. Apart from Dananjaya, the Sri Lanka selectors named Shehan Jayasuriya, Lahiru Kumara, Wanindu Hasaranga and Dasun Shanaka in their 17-man squad.

The match on July 26 will witness the final ODI for Lasith Malinga, who has announced his retirement from the format. Malinga has been picked only in the first match while Shanaka will join the squad for the remaining two matches. Niroshan Dickwella and Dinesh Chandimal continue to be left out of the side.

Posting a video message to his fans on his wife's Facebook page, Malinga said he felt no ill will towards officials and players who may have tried to push him out of the team. The 35-year-old said he was sidelined by selectors two years ago but was able to prove his value to the national team at the recent World Cup.
"Friday will be the last day you will see me playing an ODI match," Malinga said. "If you can, please come for the match." During practice Tuesday ahead of the first ODI against Bangladesh, Malinga said he hoped to play T20 cricket and had his sights on the 2020 World Cup in Australia. "I hope to be able to take Sri Lanka to the next T20 World Cup," he said.

Malinga, 35, will leave as Sri Lanka’s third highest wicket-taker in ODI cricket with 335 wickets in 219 innings so far. Only Muttiah Muralitharan (523) and Chaminda Vaas (399) have taken more wickets than Malinga in ODIs for Sri Lanka. He was Sri Lanka’s highest wicket-taker at the World Cup, claiming 13 scalps in seven innings. Malinga retired from Test cricket in 2010 but continued to remain available in other formats since then.
 
Squad: Dimuth Karunaratne (capt), Kusal Perera, Avishka Fernando, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Lahiru Thirimanne, Shehan Jayasuriya, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dasun Shanaka (Only 2nd and 3rd ODI), Wanindu Hasaranga, Akila Dananjaya, Amila Aponso, Lasith Malinga (only 1st ODI), Nuwan Pradeep, Kasun Rajitha, Lahiru Kumara, Thisara Perera, Isuru Udana.

First Published: Thursday, July 25, 2019 04:33 PM
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