Ahead of the ICC World Cup 2019, Sri Lanka players and management have faced some serious allegations of match-fixing and corruption. Sri Lanka have not won a single bilateral ODI series since May 2016, which will surely affect there performance in the tournament.
Recently, the International Cricket Council (ICC) charged the team’s performance analyst Sanath Jayasundara with two counts of breaching the anti-corruption code and handed him a provisional suspension. Sanath Jayasuriya, former captain and 1996 World Cup winner, too was banned for two years for failing to co-operate with an ICC investigation.
Former players Nuwan Zoysa and Avishka Gunawardene were also suspended by the ICC for breaching the Emirates Cricket Board’s anti corruption code.
Sri Lanka Cricket Team:
Dimuth Karunaratne (captain), Dhananjaya de Silva, Nuwan Pradeep, Avishka Fernando, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Kusal Mendis (wk), Jeevan Mendis, Kusal Perera (wk), Thisara Perera, Milinda Siriwardana, Lahiru Thirimanne, Isuru Udana, Jeffrey Vandersay.
Head coach: Chandika Hathurusingha
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Sri Lanka have witnessed a sharp decline in their cricketing fortunes since the 2015 World Cup. In 84 ODIs since the last edition, they have won 23 and lost 55. The team has lost 41 of 54 ODIs since January 1, 2017 including 15 losses from 23 matches at home.
The terror attacks on April 22 in Colombo have affected Lanka’s World Cup preparations, forcing them to cancel a motivational camp in Maduru Oya and a training camp in Dambulla.
Sri Lanka will begin their World Cup campaign against New Zealand on June 1 at the Cardiff Wales Stadium in Cardiff.
Since their group stage exit in 1999, the island nation made it to the knockouts every time including two consecutive runners-up finishes in 2007 and 2011.
Dimuth Karunaratne, who last played ODIs in 2015, is the captain. While Lahiru Thirimanne, Milinda Siriwardana, Jeevan Mendis and Jeffrey Vandersay have been picked, despite not playing an ODI since at least 2017.
With six all-rounders in their ranks, they can give a tough time to any side on their day. Additionally, Thisara Perera’s all-round ability and World Cup experience make him an integral part of the team. While the team’s best bowler Lasith Malinga also adds to the experience of the team. Malinga is the highest wicket-taker in the world among the active players.