Sri Lanka's T20 squad depleted amid safety concerns

Sri Lanka is without a host of its star names for the T20 matches with Pakistan over safety concerns for the final fixture in Lahore.

Tharanga's absence gives Perera the chance to lead his country for the first time.   -  Getty Images

Thisara Perera will lead a much-changed Sri Lanka side for the Twenty20 series against Pakistan after a host of its stars – including captain Upul Tharanga – refused to travel to Lahore for the final game.

The Test and one-day international series between the two nations have taken place in United Arab Emirates, where the first two T20s will also take place.

However, the final match will see Sri Lanka return to Lahore for the first time since its team bus was attacked in 2009.

Because of those safety concerns the squad for the T20 matches has a different look to it with Lasith Malinga, Niroshan Dickwella, Chamara Kapugedara, Akila Dananjaya and Suranga Lakmal all opting out.

Tharanga's absence gives Perera the chance to lead his country for the first time, and he will hope the uncapped Sadeera Samarawickrama and Minod Bhanuka can fill the void.

Meanwhile, it remains to be seen whether interim coach Nic Pothas will join his squad after expressing his own concerns about the match in Lahore.

The series begins in Abu Dhabi on October 26 and ends in Pakistan three days later.


Sri Lanka squad: Thisara Perera (captain), Dilshan Munaweera, Danushka Gunathilaka, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Ashan Priyanjan, Mahela Udawatte, Dasun Shanaka, Minod Bhanuka (wk), Sachith Pathirana, Vikum Sanjaya, Lahiru Gamage, Seekkuge Prasanna, Vishwa Fernando, Isuru Udana, Jeffrey Vandersay, Chaturanga de Silva.
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