Dilshan dropped from tour of Australia
CRICKET: The national selectors yesterday sacked middle order batsman
Tillekeratne Dilshan and recalled Thilan Samaraweera and included
uncapped Chanaka Welagedera in their sixteen member squad for the tour
of Australia in November.
Sri Lanka will play two Test matches in Brisbane and Hobart and one
three day warm up match during their tour down under from November 2 to
20. The national selectors also left out former captain Marvan Atapattu
after stating his unavailability.
The selectors, who were to leave out Sanath Jayasuriya to accommodate
Atapattu, were forced to fall back on Jayasuriya, who is now expected to
make the Australian series.
Left arm seamer Chanaka Welegedera from Moors Sports Club is the only
new face in the Sri Lanka side.
He has really forced himself into contention with some outstanding
bowling performances in the past six months including a ten wicket haul
which helped the Sri Lanka Invitation team beat the touring Tamil Nadu
side in their Gopalan Trophy match last week.
Chairman national selectors Ashantha de Mel said that Welagedera is
considered as one of the brightest prospect in the Sri Lankan fast
bowlers unit and is looked upon as a likely success to the experienced
The 26 year old who hails from Matale will form a five prong pace
attack together with Chaminda Vaas, Lasith Malinga, Dilhara Fernando and
Farveez Maharoof. In fact for the season campaigner Vaas this tour will
be of great importance as he is set to play in his 100th Test match for
Welegedera was a late starter to cricket and he learnt to play the
game for St. Thomas' College in Matale at the age of 17, but he made
rapid progress performing in provincial matches.
When he came to Colombo he was selected as one of 15 probables by
Daryl Foster, the Australian fast bowling coach, for the Sri Lanka Pace
Academy which was headed by former Sri Lanka fast bowler Rumesh
Ratnayake in 2000.
He was then sent to the MRF Pace Academy in Chennai for further
development of his skills. He captured a total of 34 wickets for Moors
SC during the Premier League tournament in the 2002-03 season.
Welegedera toured Sharjah with the Sri Lanka Academy side and took
seven wickets against the United Arab Emirates, which helped him to gain
selection for the Sri Lanka A team.
Welagedera has claimed a total of 121 wickets from 42 first class
matches since his debut in 2001/02. He has also represented the Sri
Lanka A team in 25 matches and has captured 32 wickets.
Meanwhile 31 year old Thilan Samaraweera has earned a recall after
playing the last of his 39 Test matches in England in 2006. The solid
right hand middle order batsman has accumulated a total of 2089 runs at
an excellent average of 41.78 with a top score of 142. Samaraweera has
five centuries and 13 fifties to his credit.
The national selectors also included ace spinner Muttiah Muralitharan
who is still recovering from a bicep injury. The 35 year off spinner is
chasing Shane Warne's world Test record of 708 wickets and will travel
to Australia needing nine wickets from the two Tests to become the
Sri Lanka has never won a Test match in Australia and has lost six
matches from the eight previous outings with two games drawn.
The Sri Lanka team for the tour of Australia
PLAYER AGE CLUB TESTS
Mahela Jayawardena (captain) 30 SSC 88
Kumar Sangakkara (vice captain) 29 NCC 67
Sanath Jayasuriya 38 Bloomfield 107
Chaminda Vaas 33 Colts CC 98
Upul Tharanga 22 NCC 22
Chamara Silva 27 Sebastianites SC 5
Muttiah Muralitharan 35 Tamil Union 113
Lasith Malinga 24 NCC 24
Farveez Maharoof 23 NCC 18
Prasanna Jayawardena 27 Sebastianites SC 12
Dilhara Fernando 28 SSC 26
Malinga Bandara 27 Ragama CC 8
Jehan Mubarak 26 CCC 8
Michael van Dort 27 CCC 9
Thilan Samaraweera 31 SSC 39
Chanaka Welagedera 26 Moors SC 0
Stand byes: T. M. Dilshan and Nuwan Kulasekara
Officials: Shriyan Samararatne - Manager, Trevor Bayliss - Coach,
Paul Farbrace - Assistant Coach, Tommy Simsek - Physiotherapist, Jade
Roberts - Trainer, Nalin de Alwis - Computer Analyst, Lal Thamel -
Masseur and Ranjith Madurusinghe - Selector on Tour