Sri Lankan cricket selectors announced their final squad for the ICC World Cup 2011. Cricket fans saw some big changes in the 15-man squad. The list of players are given below-
Sri Lanka's World Cup Squad: Kumar Sangakkara (captain and wicketkeeper), Mahela Jayawardene (vice captain), Thilan Samaraweera, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Upul Tharanga, Chamara Kapugedera, Angelo Mathews, Chamara Silva, Lasith Malinga, Tissara Perera, Dilhara Fernando, Nuwan Kulasekara, Muttiah Muralitharan, Rangana Herath, Ajantha Mendis.
The exclusion of two veteran players, Chaminda Vaas and Sanath Jayasuriya, surprised the Sri Lankan cricket fans. These two players have been left out when Sri Lankan selectors shortened the 30-man provisional squad into 15.
Hardly anyone could think that Sri Lanka will take part in the biggest cricket event without these two players. Their exclusion from the final squad should make their fans much anger. Even, they should want to know why they were not picked the Sri Lankan World Cup squad.
Seeing their inclusion in the preliminary squad, fans thought that one of them would be named in the final selection. Selectors didn’t give any clear information for not selecting them. It is heard that Aravinda de Silva, chairman of selectors, was not interested to select them due to their poor form in the recent days.
The 41-year-old Sanath Jayasuriya was the oldest player in the provisional squad. This experienced player was out of cricket for long time. He last played in a two-match T20 series against New Zealand in 2010. Since then, he was not seen playing any format of cricket game.
In 2007, he announced his retirement from Test cricket to give focus on shorter formats of the game. His last ODI match was against India in December 2009. Because of is lack of consistency, he was not picked in the main squad. Selectors wanted young players to give more opportunity.
The 36-year-old medium-fast bowler, Chaminda Vaas, announced his Test retirement in July 2009. After failing to make his place in the main squad, he said that he would take retirement from international cricket. He last played ODI cricket for Sri Lanka in August 2008.
The interesting thing is that both Chaminda Vaas and Sanath Jayasuriya were in the Sri Lankan squad in 1996 World Cup.
Spin maestro, Muttiah Muralitharan, has been included in the final squad. He is one of the few players who were part of Sri Lanka’s 1996 World Cup winning team. It is expected that his experience will help the team to bring the world back in Sri Lanka once again.
This legendary bowler bid farewell to Test cricket in July 2010. His last test match was against India at Galle where he took his 800th wicket. Playing 339 ODI matches, he collected 517 wickets, which is the highest number of wickets in ODI cricket.
However, Sri Lankan selectors didn’t select any uncapped players in the final squad. It seems that they don’t want to take any risk with new players.
Kumar Sangakkara was named captain of Sri Lankan cricket team while Mahela Jayawardene will be his deputy. Kumar Sangakkara will be seen behind the wicket. However, selectors haven’t included any extra wicketkeeper who can back Sangakkara in any emergency.