By Desmond Samith | August 4, 2013
Left-arm spinner Malinda Pushpakumara, the best bowler of the premier inter-club tournament for the last three years, has surprisingly failed to find a spot in any of the four squads picked for the upcoming inter-provincial T20 tournament.
The national selection committee headed by Sanath Jayasuriya selected 68 players (17 players in each squad) for the tournament, where the winners will have a chance of playing in the Champions League T20 to be played in India next month.
The 26-year-old’s non-inclusion is sure to raise many eyebrows.
In the last premier club tournament, Pushpakumara pocketed 68 wickets for Moors SC and in the previous two tournaments too he went past the 50-wicket mark. Pushpakumara toured the West Indies with Sri Lanka A recently and claimed a five-wicket haul in the second unofficial Test — the only match he played in on that tour.
Pacemen Nuwan Pradeep and Dilhara Fernando have also been overlooked for the tournament, which will be played from August 10 to 17. Pradeep was identified as player for the future, while Fernando has reinvented himself in recent times and was named in a Sri Lanka Combined XI to play Sri Lanka A in preparation for the ongoing South Africa series.
1 – Angelo Mathews, Udara Jayasundara, Dilshan Munaweera, Kithuruwan Vithanage, Sachithra Serasinghe, Chathuranga de Silva, Kosala Kulasekara, Kanishka Alvitigala, Suranga Lakmal , Lahiru Gamage, Isuru Udana, Sachithra Senanayake, Janaka Gunaratne, Dimuth Karunaratne, Sameera Soyza, Gihan Rupasinghe, Kaushal Silva. Officials: Marvan Atapattu, Piyal Wijetunga
2 – Dinesh Chandimal, Mahela Udawatte, Chamara Kapugedera, Ashan Priyanjana, Mahela Jayawardena, Jeevan Mendis, Thisara Perera, Shaminda Eranga, Vimukthi Perera, Ramith Rambukwella, Rangana Herath, Akila Dananjaya, Rumesh Buddika, Chathura Peiris, Alankara Asanka, Madushanka Ekanayake, Chaminda Vidanapathirana. Officials: Ruwan Kalpage, Anusha Samaranayaka
3 – Lahiru Thirimanna, Upul Tharanga, Shehan Jayasuriya, Kumar Sangakkara, Chamara Silva, Thilina Kandamby, Milinda Siriwardana, Nuwan Kulasekera, Dilhara Lokuhettige, Dammika Prasad, Lahiru Jayaratne, Ajantha Mendis, Suraj Randiv, Sanjeevan, Kaushal Lokuarachchi, Dananjaya de Silva, Dasun Chanaka, Malinga Bandara. Officials: Chaminda Vaas, Manoj Abeywickrama
4 – Lasith Malinga, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kusal Perera, Danushka Gunatillaka, Angelo Perera, Jehan Mubarak, Niroshan Dickwella, Dilruwan Perera, Seekuge Prasanna, Ishan Jayaratne, Farveez Maharoof, Madura Lakmal, Binara Fernando, Yashoda Lanka, Sadun Weerakkody, Kaushal Weerarathne, Thilina Thushara. Officials: Champaka Ramanayaka, Romesh Kaluvitharana
Desmond Samith is a sports journalist for the Ceylon Today newspaper.
© Desmond Samith/Ceylon Today