Four new players have been included in the Under 19 cricket squad in preparation for the Under 19 Asia Cup and Under 19 World Cup. The junior selection committee already selected a 26 member squad (Before the last Bangladesh series) and now they are expected to strengthen the squad by adding four more players. They aim to pick a 20-member squad from the 30 members for the Asia Cup as well as for the forthcoming Under 19 England match series which will commence from November 30th at SSC grounds.
Sakuna Liyanage left-hand batter and leg spinner of Lumbini College, Ranuda Somaratne the right-hand batter and off-spinner of Trinity, the left-hand batter and wicketkeeper Anjala Bandara of St Anthony’s Katugastota, and medium paceman Irosh Silva of De Mezenod, Kandana are the four new players to strengthen the squad. Liyanage the former Monaragala Royal College player who has recently crossed over to Lumbini MV and also played for Nugegoda SC at the under 23 tournament impressed with the bat scoring 243 runs with an average of 60.75. His present school coach Dinesh Weerasinghe said the promising all-rounder is a dedicated player having good potential and possessing a good future.
Meanwhile, the five matches of the Under-19 ODI series commencing November 30 are scheduled to be played at the SSC, but due to the prevailing bad weather, there is a possibility of a venue change for this five-match series. But Sri Lanka Cricket is not yet come to a final decision. After Sri Lanka had completed a successful five-match Under-19 ODI series against Bangladesh which they won quite convincingly by a 5-0 margin at Dambulla the training also has been interrupted as the weather has been at its worst during the past few weeks for the under 19 players’ preparation. They had the opportunity to play ongoing Major Clubs limited over tournament matches which also have been hampered by the inclement weather.
Dunith Wellalage and his team is expected to make a good challenge against England youth team despite bad weather. The youth team spinners including Wellalage, Shevon Daniel, Trevon Matthew, and Raveen de Silva impressed with the ball during the Bangladesh series and their form was also much needed to play against England youth team. Wellalage, Chamindu Wickramasinghe, Raveen de Silva and Yasiru Rodrigo , Matheesha Pathirana are the most senior players having previous youth World Cup experience.
However, selectors are more concern about wicket keeper slot as well as good open batting combination before the important Asian Cup and World Cup. The forthcoming England series is going to be a good opportunity to find the right combination to build up the team. The head coach Avishka Gunawardena and his supporting coaches Chamila Gamage (fast bowling), Sachith Pathirana (Spin bowling), Upul Chandana(fielding), and Dhammika Sudharshana (batting) gave their best effort to build up the team.
Sri Lanka under 19 30 member Squad: (Subjected to approval ) Dunith Wellalage (St. Joseph’s), Sadeesh Jayawardena St. Joseph’s), Abhishek Liyanarachchi (D. S. Senanayake), Ryan Fernando (S. Thomas’), Sadisha Rajapaksa (Royal), Shevon Danial (St. Joseph’s), Pawan Sandesh (Devapathiraja), Harindu Jayasekera (St. Thomas’, Matara), Jeewaka Shasheen (Devapathiraja), Pawan Pathiraja (Trinity), Matheesa Weerasingha (Maliyadeva), Vinuja Rampol (Nalanda), Lahiru Dewatage (St. Peter’s), Malsha Tharupathi (Madampagama, Ambalangoda), Traveen Mathews (St. Anthony’s, Katugastota), Sasanka Nirmal (Devapathiraja), Yasiru Rodrigo (S. Thomas’), Danal Hemananda (St. Peter’s), Matheesha Pathirana (Trinity), Vibahavith Ehelapola (Trinity), Raveen de Silva (Nalanda), Chamidu Wickramasinghe (St. Anthony’s, Katugastota), Bawantha Jayasinghe (Thurstan), Wanuja Sahan (St. Peter’s), Lahiru Abeysinghe (St. Anthony’s, Katugastota) , Maleesha Silva (St. Sylvester’s)., Sakuna Liyanage (Lumbini), Ranuda Somaratne(Trinity), Anjala Bandara (St Anthony’s, Katugastota), Irosh Silva (De Mezenod Knadana)