ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: Sri Lanka all 15 player profiles

Meet 1996 World Cup winner Sri Lanka's 15-member squad for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.

sri lanka team

Sri Lanka will look to bring back the glory days of 1996 World Cup, with the team going through transition.   -  Getty Images

Sri Lanka

Appearances: 1975, 1979, 1983, 1987, 1992, 1996, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015

Best Finish: Winner - 1996

 

 

Dimuth Karunaratne (Captain)

Batsman | Age: 31

Matches - 18 | Runs – 267 | HS – 77 | Avg – 20.54 | 50s - 2 | 100s - 0

 

Dimuth Karunaratne has been a regular member of Sri Lanka’s Test side for the last six years. In One-Day Internationals, though, he has had a stop-start career. He hasn’t played an ODI since the Cricket World Cup in 2015 where he scored just 37 runs in the two innings he batted. However, the Sri Lankan selectors dished out a surprise ahead of the 2019 World Cup by naming him the captain. He has led his domestic side Kandy with a handful of good performances but finished fourth in the Sri Lanka Super Four Provincial Limited Overs tournament. It will be interesting to see how he leads a team which carries heavy emotional baggage with the ongoing civil unrest in the country.

 

Avishka Fernando

Batsman | Age: 21

Matches – 6 | Runs – 145 | HS – 74 | Average – 24.17 | 100s – 0 | 50s – 1

 

Fernando is an elegant batsman, capable of hitting the ball clean and hard, and can play his strokes all around the wicket. He's a newcomer to international cricket, having played just five ODIs and three T20Is. Fernando made his ODI debut in 2016 – against Australia in Dambulla - before he had played any first-class cricket. Earlier that year, he participated in the U-19 World Cup in Bangladesh, scoring a half-century in six matches. He played his second ODI after a considerable gap – against South Africa in Centurion in March, 2019.

 

 

 

 

Lahiru Thirimanne

Batsman | Age: 29

Matches – 118 | Runs – 2990 | HS – 139* | Avg – 35.24 | 100s – 4 | 50s – 20

 

A surprise selection in the World Cup squad, Lahiru Thirimanne is known for his fluid, refined strokeplay. Once touted as the successor to Kumar Sangakkara, the elegant left-hander has failed to live up to the expectations he set at the beginning of his career. However, he remains a safe bet in overseas tours as all his four ODI hundreds and 12 fifties have come away from home. In a List A tourney in April, he scored a century and an 82 playing for Galle.

 

 

 

 

Kusal Perera

Wicket-keeper/Batsman | Age: 28

Matches - 88 | Runs – 2283 | HS – 135 | Avg - 29.26 | 100s – 4 | 50s – 11

 

In February, 2019, Perera dominated the headlines when he single-handedly helped Sri Lanka chase down 304 against South Africa in the Durban Test. His technique resembles his idol Sanath Jayasuriya – diminutive, explosive and a dizzying bat speed with a short backlift. He is not the batsman of the classical mould, relying more on his bottom hand to score his runs. He will also serve as the team’s back-up wicket-keeper though he has not kept wickets since September, 2018.

Check out all the bios, stats of 150 World Cup players at one place

 

Kusal Mendis

Wicketkeeper/Batsman | Age: 24

Matches – 63 | Runs – 1692 | HS – 102 | Avg – 28.68 | 100s – 1 | 50s – 15 | Catches- 31 | Stumpings- 0

 

This promising right-hander can double up as a wicketkeeper and according to Sri Lanka’s fielding coach Steve Rixon, his batting is something which will make people go ‘wow’ the more they see. He played one of the finest innings by a Sri Lankan batsman when he scored 176 against a fearsome Australian bowling attack at Palakelle to win his team the match. In 2018, he also became the second batsman in history to score more 1000 Test runs in a Calendar year. He will go into the World Cup full of confidence having scored 202 runs in five ODIs in South Africa.

 

 

 

Angelo Mathews

All-rounder | Age: 32

Matches - 204 | Runs – 5381 | HS – 139* | Avg – 42.04 | 100s – 2 | 50s – 37 | Wickets - 114 | Best – 6-20 | Eco - 4.62

 

Once heralded as the man who would take Sri Lankan cricket ahead after the retirement of Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, Mathews stepped down from captaincy in 2017 following his side’s poor performance in a one-day series in Zimbabwe. Earlier that year, he had led Sri Lanka to a win over India in the Champions Trophy and 3-0 Test series victory over Australia. He has been a mainstay in the Sri Lankan batting lineup across formats and is an excellent fielder. He makes his ODI comeback after September 2018, on the back of excellent List A performances scoring 227 runs in four 50-Overs games.

 

 

Dhananjaya de Silva

All-rounder | Age: 27

Matches - 33 | Runs - 688 | HS - 84 | 50s - 4 | Wickets - 15 | Best - 3-41 | Eco- 5.37

 

A popular figure in the country’s domestic circuit, Dhananjaya made a name for himself with a superb run in the Super T20 Provincial tournament in 2016 with 234 runs in six innings. His father Ranjan de Silva, a local politician in Colombo, was assassinated in May, 2018 as Dhananjaya missed half of the tour of West Indies. He played some stunning innings in Tests for Sri Lanka – the standout being a 119 not out in the pollution-wrecked draw at Delhi in 2017. He has the technique and solidity of a classical Test batsman, but has the flamboyance to be a successful limited-overs batter.

 

 

Jeffrey Vandersay

Bowler | Age: 29

Matches – 11 | Wickets – 10 | Best– 3-50 | Eco – 5.74

 

A right-arm leg-spinner with hardly any run-up in his bowling action, Jeffrey Vandersay is a newcomer to international cricket and his short career has has been mired in off-field controversies. He was sent home from a tour of the Caribbean in July last year on grounds of misconduct – he was found missing from the team hotel in St. Lucia on a morning after a night-out. He was given a one-year suspended sentence from international cricket by Sri Lanka Cricket. His best performance in ODIs was in the tri-series final in Zimbabwe in 2016 where took three wickets in his team’s six-wicket win over the host.

 

 

Thisara Perera

All-rounder | Age: 30

Matches – 154 | Runs – 2147 | HS – 140 | Average – 20.45 | 100s – 1 | 50s – 10 | Wickets – 170 | Best– 6-44 | Eco – 5.87

 

A limited-overs specialist, Perera is widely experienced in T20 franchise cricket, having played 260 T20s overall. He is known for his finishing skills with the bat as he revels in slogs and lofted strokes. In his bowling arsenal, he possesses the slower ball and the cutter that he employs to fox the batsman.

Perera did not make much of an impact in the recent ODI series in South Africa, but earlier in the year, he shone against New Zealand, scoring the first century of his career – a match-winning 140 in Mount Maunganui.

 

Isuru Udana

All-rounder | Age: 31

Matches – 6 | Runs – 125 | HS – 78 | Average – 41.67 | 50s – 1 | Wickets – 3 | Best– 2-50 | Eco – 6.03

 

Udana has all the qualities of a limited-overs specialist – he can surprise batsmen with his pace variations and can tonk the ball hard when required. However, he has had a stop-start international career. Despite making his international debut in ICC World Twenty20 in 2009, he has only played 26 international matches so far. He has been in good form with the bat of late – a quickfire 78 off 57 balls in the fourth ODI of the five-match series against South Africa and an unbeaten 84 (off 48 deliveries) in a Twenty20 International both in a losing cause.

 

 

Lasith Malinga

Bowler | Age: 35

Matches – 218 | Wkts – 322 | Best – 6-38 | Eco – 5.33

 

A giant for Sri Lanka in limited-overs cricket, Lasith Malinga is the third highest wicket-taker for Sri Lanka in ODIs. His right arm, which measures slightly longer than his left arm, has helped him in sending toe-crushers at blurring speeds over a 15-year long international career. Malinga has not been very impactful of late. In the ODI series against South Africa in March, 2019, he took four wickets in five matches. The 2019 World Cup will be the final time fans will get to see his half-dyed blonde Afro bouncing as he kisses the ball and runs in to sling in a yorker for the billionth time.

 

 

Suranga Lakmal

Bowler | Age: 32

Matches – 82 | Wickets – 107 | Best- 4-13 | Eco - 5.43

 

With an action and accuracy resembling the great Glenn McGrath, this mild-mannered pacer has been spearheading Sri Lanka’s bowling attack for the past few years. One of the seniors in the side, Lakmal’s exploits in Tests and leadership skills have been praised much, but he has not played an ODI since the Asia Cup in September, 2018. However, his ability to contain the run flow using both seam and swing effectively makes him a reliable asset for the Sri Lanka in the World Cup.

 

 

Nuwan Pradeep

Bowler | Age: 32

Matches – 35 | Wickets – 42 | Best – 4-34 | Eco – 6.1

 

Pradeep, who had played very little cricket at school, joined Sri Lanka Cricket’s academy at the age of 20 after winning a pace competition conducted by an entertainment channel in 2007. He made his international debut in 2011 in the Test series against Paksitan and his ODI debut the next year. With a decent return of 38 wickets from 34 ODIs, Pradeep has carried out his duties of slowing down the run rate in the middle overs. He can conjure exciting spells in seaming conditions with his aesthetically pleasing action.

 

Jeevan Mendis

All-rounder | Age: 36

Matches – 55 | Runs – 617 | HS – 72 | Average – 19.9 | 50s – 1 | Wickets – 28 | Best – 3-15 | Eco - 5.08

 

A left-handed batsman who can strike the ball well, Mendis can flight the ball and generate turn, bowling leg-spinners as well as googlies. The 36-year-old hasn’t played a One-Day International since the 2015 World Cup, where he played two matches. The last time he played a Twenty20 International for Sri Lanka was during the Nidahas Trophy in 2018. However, with a series of sparkling all-round performances in the domestic cricket where he bagged 17 wickets and scored 272 runs in 8 List A matches, his international career has been resurrected with a spot in World Cup 2019.

 

Milinda Siriwardana

All-rounder | Age: 33

Matches – 26 | Runs – 513 | HS – 66 | Avg – 23.32 | 50s – 3 | Wickets – 9 | Best – 2-27 | Eco – 5.39

 

Another surprise pick for the 2019 World Cup, Siriwardana offers the role of a good lower-order batsman with an effective left-arm spin during the middle overs. Despite making a promising debut in the 2015 home series against Pakistan, he has unable to cement his place in the side. He has not played an international match since October, 2017 but fared well in the domestic circuit earning a call-up in the World Cup squad.

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