ANI Photo | “Was the best option, because heading into World Cup”: Tharanga on Dickwella’s selection for Bangladesh series

Sri Lanka Cricket Selection Committee chairman Upul Tharanga revealed the reason behind recalling Niroshan Dickwella for the T20I series in Bangladesh.
The experienced wicketkeeper batter Kusal Perera was ruled out of the series with a respiratory infection. Dickwella was brought in as a replacement and will have a chance to force his name for Sri Lanka’s T20 World Cup squad.
Players like Vijayakanth Viyaskanth, Dunith Wellalage, Lasith Croospulle and Shevon Daniel would have to wait for their opportunity to feature in the national team in order to push their name for the World Cup squad.
Among these players, Viyaskanth starred in the ILT20 League, picking up eight wickets in four games for MI Emirates, at an economy of 5.43.
Tharanga opened up about the selection of Sri Lanka’s team for the T20I series and said as quoted from ESPNcricinfo, “In T20s we need a wicket-taking option, which is why we opted for Jeffrey [Vandersay] over someone like Dunith [Wellalage]. We felt that Jeffrey was more of an attacking bowler in T20s.”
“We [also] had a big discussion regarding Viyaskanth and Jeffrey, and there were differing opinions within the selection committee. But in the end, we went with Jeffrey because the World Cup is coming up soon and there was a question over whether Viyaskanth could suddenly be brought in to play in a World Cup. So that’s why we went with Jeffrey and his experience,” he added.
He went on to talk about the selection of Dickwella who could take up the role behind the stumps as well as feature in the opening slot to provide an explosive start to the team.
“We were looking for someone to play in the top order [with the injuries to Pathum Nissanka and Kusal Perera]. We looked at Shevon Daniel, Lasith Croospulle and Dikka [Dickwella], but the first two are still quite young. It was difficult to pick them based purely on their most recent performances,” Tharanga said.
“They’re very talented cricketers, someone like Shevon can play for 10 to 15 years for Sri Lanka. A player like that, do we drop him into a difficult situation? Or do we hold him back and let him play in the NSL, A team, give experience and then bring him into the side? We spoke to the captain, as well as the coach, and they also felt Niroshan Dickwella was the best option at this time because heading into a World Cup, his experience will be useful,” he added.
One of the questions that were raised regarding the selection of Dickwella was his disciplinary issues. He was banned for breaching bio-bubble protocols in 2021.
Tharanga stated that the matter was discussed with the captain and said, “Discipline is very important. We spoke to Dikka. The team is playing well, and we really haven’t had any issues with discipline in recent times. That’s a very important thing, it shows the unity of the team as well. Discipline needs to be the number one thing.” (ANI)

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