COLOMBO, April 18: Sacked as skipper, pacer Lasith Malinga was on Thursday named in Sri Lanka�s 15-strong World Cup squad and the country�s embattled cricket board hoped that the veteran will put behind the disappointment to show up for the team.
The 35-year-old Malinga was replaced as captain by Dimuth Karunaratne, who leads the Test team but hasn�t played an ODI since the 2015 World Cup. The surprising move continued the ongoing turmoil in Sri Lankan cricket, which is also being investigated for large-scale corruption by the ICC.
�We hope he would play for the country,� Sri Lanka Cricket chief Shammi Silva said while announcing the squad amid speculation that Malinga, who is currently with IPL franchise Mumbai Indians, will quit.
�I spoke to him on the telephone and explained to him the reasons,� added Asantha de Mel, the chairman of selectors.
The team was most recently hammered by South Africa in an away limited-overs series. Sri Lanka start their World Cup campaign on June 1 at Cardiff against New Zealand. They are due to play two warm-up games against South Africa and Australia before that.