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Sri Lanka finally name England tour squad after contracts truce

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Sri Lanka have announced the squad for the white-ball tour of England, which starts on June 23. 

As many as 24 cricketers have been picked, given the quarantine and bio-bubble constraints for the tour comprising three T20Is and three ODIs.

The island nation has again left out seniors such as Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal and Dimuth Karunaratne. While left-arm spinner Praveen Jayawickrama has been rewarded with a white-ball spot for his impressive Test debut against Bangladesh. 

Jayawickrama had taken a match haul of 11 wickets in the second Test against Bangladesh in Pallekele, Kandy in April-May. The 22-year old is among four main spin options in the squad, alongside leg-spin all-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga, chinaman bowler Lakshan Sandakan and mystery spinner Akila Dananjaya.

Veteran pacer Nuwan Pradeep’s recall means Sri Lanka will have six frontline pace bowlers for the tour, including Dushmantha Chameera, Isuru Udana, Asitha Fernando, Binura Fernando and Shiran Fernando.

Batsman Avishka Fernando has also been selected after having missed out recently due to poor fitness, but has reportedly passed the fitness tests this time.

The squad selection comes after the players and Sri Lanka Cricket have called a truce for the time being on the contracts crisis. The players have agreed to play in England without contracts, and the board has agreed to later reveal details about player evaluation that are the basis of the new contracts system.

Sri Lanka are scheduled to play a one-day practice match against Kent and a T20 practice game against Sussex before the series against England begins on June 23 with the first T20I in Cardiff.

England are currently playing a two-Test series against New Zealand, who will later play the World Test Championship final against India in Southampton. Following the Sri Lanka series, England will also host Pakistan for a white-ball series, after which they will play five home Test matches against India.

Sri Lanka will meanwhile return from England to take on India in a limited-overs series at home in July, which will see a second-string India squad participate as the main squad led by Virat Kohli will continue to remain in England.

Sri Lanka squad for England tour

Kusal Perera (capt), Kusal Mendis, Danushka Gunathilaka, Avishka Fernando, Pathum Nissanka, Niroshan Dickwella, Dhananjaya De Silva, Oshada Fernando, Charith Asalanka, Dasun Shanaka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Ramesh Mendis, Chamika Karunaratne, Dhananjaya Lakshan, Ishan Jayaratne, Dushmantha Chameera, Isuru Udana, Asitha Fernando, Nuwan Pradeep, Binura Fernando, Shiran Fernando, Lakshan Sandakan, Akila Dananjaya, Praveen Jayawickrama

Featured photo : Ishara S. Kodikara / AFP

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