Colombo: Sri Lankan all-rounder Thisara Perera has been named as the new skipper of the ODI and T20I sides after Upul Tharanga was removed from the captaincy ahead of the three-match ODI and T20I series against India.
This comes after Sri Lanka’s string of poor performances in limited overs’ cricket for quite some time now.
After Angelo Mathews stepped down from the captaincy of the Sri Lankan team from all formats, Tharanga was given the charge of ODI and T20I sides while Dinesh Chandimal was handed the responsibility of leading the island nation in Test cricket.
But the reserved left-handed opener, who has had a decent year with the bat hasn’t been successful with the team as they suffered three 5-0 whitewashes under his captaincy. The first came at the hands of India, which was followed by series defeats to South Africa and Pakistan which jeopardized Sri Lanka’s chances of qualifying for the 2019 World Cup.
Also, he was suspended twice for slow over rates.
“We have appointed Thisara the ODI and T20 captain,” said a top official of Sri Lanka Cricket, while interacting with AFP before the announcement was made on Wednesday.
Tharanga had also opted out of the Sri Lankan team scheduled to play Pakistan in Lahore in the third and final T20I of the series. Thisara Perera was thus named his replacement as the board refused to name separate teams for the UAE leg and the Lahore match.
Sources reveal that there was a talk of handing back the captaincy to Mathews but the latter has been struggling with injury of late. Test captain Dinesh Chandimal’s name also cropped up but was eventually ruled out because of his poor form in limited overs’ cricket after he was dropped from the team during the home series against Zimbabwe.