Friday, March 05, 2010

Jayasuriya, Maharoof among probables for T20 World Cup



All rounders Sanath Jayasuriya and Farveez Maharoof have made a return to the Sri Lanka squad after a long lapse as national cricket selectors named a 30-member probable squad for the ICC Twenty20 World Cup starting in West Indies on April 30.

Star player Maharoof was not considered for selection for nearly one and a half years due to injuries that plagued him constantly.

But the most noteworthy is the inclusion of veteran Jayasuriya who has found some of his old magic both with the bat and the ball in the current inter provincial T20 tournament.

The 40-year old legend who is contesting the forthcoming April 8 General Election under the ruling People’s Alliance from the Matara District will be an automatic choice for the opener’s slot on his present form and will partner Tillekratne Dilshan at the top of the batting order, sources said.

Jayasuriya suffered a set back in his international form in recent times and was dropped from the Sri Lanka ODI team for the last two tours.

If Jayasuriya gets elected to the parliament, the T20 World Cup will be his first historic international cricket tour as an Member of Parliament (MP).

National selectors had picked the 30 probables three weeks ago and the squad had reportedly been sent to the ICC.

Sri Lanka finished runners up to Pakistan at last year’s T20 World Cup in England and this has prompted selectors to pick T20 specialists and all rounders for this year’s squad, sources said.

Selectors had wanted to include a few big hitters with the capability of hitting sixes in the late order to bat through the last few overs of the innings.

After picking the 30-probables, selectors have further pruned down the squad this week to 25 in consultation with skipper Kumar Sangakkara and coach Trevor Bayliss. They have kept pace bowler Dilhara Fernando, but had discussed at length about his erratic form.

Selectors will meet up once again next week after this Sunday’s Inter Provincial T20 tournament final to pick the final 15-member squad for the World Cup.

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