Jehan Mubarak (Captain): Best remembered for his mauling of Brett Lee in the 8th Match of the ICC WT20 2009 at Nottingham. Sri Lanka needed 13 to win to kick Australia out of the inaugural WT20 championships and ‘Muba’ as he is fondly know, smashes Brett Lee – bowling at a 149 clicks per hour over long on for a massive Six. Lee had enough time to get back to his mark at the end of a long run up as the ball was being retrieved from the stands, several rows back, at Trent Bridge. Another four in the same Lee over from the powerful ‘Muba’ and the game was shortly done and dusted.
Mahela Jayawardene: The former Sri Lankan skipper is known as a classical batsman throughout the world. But the elegant right hander has adapted to the shorter form of the game as great batsmen usually do, and taken on the roll of opening batsman. It’s not the nudges or the deft glides the opposition should be worried about; this man can hit the ball a long way and make it look like he has a feather or wand, not a bat, in his hand. If he survives the first five Overs, expect mayhem! ‘Maiya’ was the highest run scorer in this year’s ICC WT20 in the West Indies. In six knocks, he amassed 302 runs which included a century at an average of 60:00. WATCH OUT!
Jeewantha Kulatunga: A veteran in the domestic scene (made his first class debut at 17 and is now almost 37), Kulatunga scored 104 off 62 balls in the Sri Lankan provincial league which to date is the fastest T20 century in Sri Lanka and the highest T20 score made on the island. The man has a point to prove to the Sri Lankan selectors.
Mahela Udawatte: Once considered to be the next Sanath Jayasuriya and was even included in the 2008 Asia Cup, but has since drifted away from the national spotlight. Udawatte has moulded his game around his idol Sir Viv Richards, and it’s only normal to see him slamming opening bowlers back over their heads for big Sixers as early as the first over.
Thisara Perera: After a successful run with the ball during the recently concluded Micromax Tri Series in Sri Lanka where he picked up his first five’fer, Perera, goes into the tournament on a high. The all-rounder is one of the biggest hitters in Sri Lanka’s domestic scene. When he hits them, they stay hit. Wayamba may open bowling with him.
Chanaka Welagedara: Left arm fast medium bowler who has the ability to swing the ball back in to the right-handers. Opened bowling for Sri Lanka in both Tests and ODIs in recent matches.
Rangana Herath: Bowls a delivery similar to Ajantha Mendis’ carom ball but with his left hand. A slow left arm orthodox spinner by trade, Herath, has foxed the likes of MS Dhoni, bowling him through the gate, with a mystery ball. Handy with the bat lower down the order as well.
Ajantha Mendis: The Mystery Spinner’ can be a handful on bouncy, quick tracks. Reading him off the hand in the heat of a T20 battle, and then actually being able to play it, are two very different things. If he finds support on the field – several catches and stumping chances have gone a begging of late off him – Mendis can create enough pressure to turn the game around on it’s head.
Kaushal Lokuarachchi: Runs in briskly and bowls a very quick-ish leg cutter. Not a big turner of the ball but maintains and creates enough pressure to force the breakthroughs. Also, a very handy lower order batsman and a brilliant fielder.
Farveez Maharoof: Wiped the smirk permanently off Shane Warne’s face during the 2008 IPL when he took Warney apart, putting him over the fence numerous times to score 26 runs off the Warne Over. Bowls medium pace mainly swing the ball back into the right hander. He picked up a rare hat-trick in recent months bowling for Sri Lanka.
Shalika Karunanayake: Bowls right arm medium pace and can handle the bat well. Karunanayake has two first class centuries including a highest score of 172, and also has 71 wickets.
Sameera de Zoysa: Wicket keeper/batsman who bats in the top order in the T20 format.