Colombo (AP/UNB) — Lasith Malinga will return to lead Sri Lanka in a three-match Twenty20 cricket series against Australia but many players from the young team that performed well on the tour of Pakistan have retained their places.
Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis and Niroshan Dickwella were the other senior players included in a 16-man squad announced by Sri Lanka Cricket on Thursday.
Sri Lanka sent a second-string team to Pakistan to play ODI and Twenty20 series after several withdrawals over security concerns. Sri Lanka lost the ODI series but stunned Pakistan with a 3-0 series sweep in the T20s without pacer Malinga, who has already retired from ODIs.
It was the first long tour to Pakistan by a Sri Lankan national team since the 2009 attack on the Sri Lanka team bus that killed eight people and injured some players.
International teams have avoided playing cricket in Pakistan for the past decade except for a few short series involving Zimbabwe, a World XI and Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka gave players a choice over whether to tour Pakistan, and a majority of regular players opted out. Pakistan provided what it called presidential-level security for the touring Sri Lanka team.The first T20 against Australia is at Adelaide on Oct. 27.
Lasith Malinga (captain), Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis, Danushka Gunathilaka, Avishka Fernando, Niroshan Dickwella, Dasun Shanaka, Shehan Jayasuriya, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Oshada Fernando, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lakshan Sandakan, Nuwan Pradeep, Lahiru Kumara, Isuru Udana, Kasun Rajitha.UNB