Sri Lanka reveal likely T20 World Cup selection plan

The island nation looks set to give the nod to experienced players when deciding on their squad of 15 for the June event.

Chief selector Upul Tharanga has revealed Sri Lanka will favour experience over youth when deciding who will represent the side at this year's ICC Men's T20 World Cup.

The 2014 T20 World Cup champions caused a shock recently when they recalled experienced wicket-keeper-batter Niroshan Dickwella for their ongoing T20I series with Bangladesh and Tharanga indicated this would be the norm ahead of this year's 20-over showcase in the USA and Caribean in June.

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It means the likes of left-arm spinner Dunith Wellalage and fellow youngsters Vijayakanth Viyaskanth and Shevon Daniel may have to bide their time and wait for further opportunities at the top level according to Tharanga.

"In T20s we need a wicket-taking option, which is why we opted for Jeffrey (Vandersay) over someone like Dunith (Wellalage)," Tharanga said.

"We felt that Jeffrey was more of an attacking bowler in T20s.

"We 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 (T20) World Cup is coming up soon and there was a question over whether Viyaskanth could suddenly be brought in to play in a (T20) World Cup. So that's why we went with Jeffrey and his experience.

"We were looking for someone to play in the top-order (following 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."

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Tharanga singled out Daniel as a player he expects to shine for Sri Lanka in the future, but said the time will come for the teenager to show his qualities and add to the two white-ball matches he has played for his country.

"They're very talented cricketers, someone like Shevon can play for 10 to 15 years for Sri Lanka," Tharanga noted.

"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 (Sri Lanka domestic competition), give him 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 (T20) World Cup, his experience will be useful."

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