As reported earlier, Sri Lanka’s T-20 captain Upul Tharanga has ruled himself out of the last T-20 match against Pakistan due to security reasons. As the Lankan board has decided that they\ll play only one squad in all three matches, Tharanga therefore has been ruled out of the series on a whole. With Sri lanka in need of a new captain, Sri Lanka Cricket Board (SLC) has named all-rounder Thisara Perera as the country’s new T-20 captain for the series on Saturday (October 21). Perera becomes the 9th Lankan to lead his country in the shortest format of the game.
After being confirmed as the captain, Perera has expressed his excitement of leading his nation by saying that this is a ‘dream come true’ for him. Perera said, “I’m really happy. I’m really proud of myself, because everyone has a dream to be a captain anywhere. This was my dream, and it has come true. I’m really happy at the moment”.
The fact that players like Tharanga and Coach Nic Pothas has ruled themselves out of the series shouldn’t really be a surprise given the last time they visited Pakistan, the Lankan team bus was attacked by terrorists back in 2009. Therefore still many players are unwilling to go to Pakistan. Veteran pacer Lasith Malinga requested two separate teams for the T-20 series but the request was denied because the board believes the players shouldn’t decide when and where to play, something that is designated for the board to decide.
There are six players from the ODI series who’ll travel to Lahore alongside other players from the ‘A’ team. Players like Dilshan Munaweera, Isuru Udana and Chaturanga De Silva were also named in the squad.
Despite a relatively newer side, Perera said, “I’m happy with the squad because everyone can bat and bowl. In T20 matches we need part-time bowlers and big hitters. I think this team we can do something special this series,” said Thisara, who will want to turn things around for Sri Lanka after a dismal outing in the one-day series.
Perera was asked if missing out on the big names was a concern, he simply said, “Yes, actually we had a good bunch of players in the country. Never mind because I got new talents. Hopefully, we will do our best for our country with my team.”
The first two of the three T20Is will be played in Abu Dhabi on October 26 and 27 respectively before the side flies to Lahore for the third and final one on October 29 to conclude the tour.