By India Today Sports Desk: Chennai Super Kings pacer Matheesha Pathirana was included in the ODI squad for Sri Lanka’s 3-match series against Afghanistan at home. Pathirana was named in the 16-man squad which will be headed by Dasun Shanaka in the first week of June.
Matheesha Pathirana, who played a lone T20I for Sri Lanka in last year’s Asia Cup, impressed for the Super Kings in their campaign-winning run in IPL 2023. The 20-year-old picked up 19 wickets in 12 matches for CSK as he played the role of death overs specialist to perfection, earning praise from his captain MS Dhoni.
Matheesha Pathirana will be hoping to get into the ODI team in the lead-up to the ODI World Cup, which will be played in India in October-November. The 3-match series against Afghanistan, which will be played from June 2 to 7, will provide Sri Lanka the perfect avenue to warm-up in the lead-up to the ODI World Cup qualifiers in Zimbabwe from June 18 to July 9.
Sri Lanka also brought back Dimuth Karuaratne in a bid to add experience to their batting line-up. The former Test captain last played an ODI in 2021 and the experience of having played 34 ODIs will help him ease into the mix.
Kusal Perera missed out on the squad due to a hamstring injury, making way for Sadeera Samarawickrama to return to the ODI setup after four years.
Sri Lanka are yet to name the squad for the ODI World Cup qualifiers.
Sri Lanka are placed in Group B alongside Ireland, Scotland, Oman and the United Arab Emirates, with their campaign kicking off on 19 June against UAE.
Squad for the 1st two ODIs against Afghanistan
Dasun Shanaka (Captain), Kusal Mendis, Pathum Nissanka, Dimuth Karunaratne, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya De Silva, Charith Asalanka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Maheesh Theekshana, Dushan Hemantha, Chamika Karunaratne, Dushmantha Chameera, Matheesha Pathirana, Lahiru Kumara, Kasun Rajitha.