Sri Lanka drops Jayasuriya, Mendis for Asia Cup

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s new cricket selection panel on Thursday left veteran batsman Sanath Jayasuriya out of the 15-man squad for next week’s Asia Cup.

Selectors also dropped spinner Ajantha Mendis and included fast bowling all-rounder Farveez Maharoof for the four-nation limited-overs tournament against India, Pakistan and Bangladesh in Sri Lanka from June 15 to 24.

Left-arm spinner Rangana Herath returns after playing his last limited-overs game in 2004 to join specialists spinners Muttiah Muralitharan, 38, and newcomer Suraj Randiv.

Muralitharan, the world’s leading Test and One-Day wicket-taker, returns to the squad after recovering from a groin injury picked up during the Caribbean World Cup.

Jayasuriya, at 40 the world’s oldest player in the international arena, continues to show poor form in the national side. He scored an average 3.75 runs in six matches during the Caribbean World Twenty20 in April-May.

Jayasuriya, who was rested for the just concluded tri-nation Zimbabwe tour, had also been left out of the national squad for the tri-series in Bangladesh earlier this year.

The team management dropped him as a specialist opener and moved him down to the middle-order in the limited-overs game last year.

Sri Lankan sports minister Chandrasiri Bandara last month sacked the national selectors and appointed a fresh panel under batting great Aravinda de Silva.

Sri Lankan Squad: Kumar Sangakkara (captain and wicket-keeper), Muttiah Muralitharan (vice-captain), Mahela Jayawardene, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Upul Tharanga, Thilan Samaraweera, Angelo Mathews, Farveez Maharoof, Chamara Kapugedara, Nuwan Kulasekara, Chanaka Welegedara, Lasith Malinga, Suraj Randiv, Rangana Herath, Thilina Kandamby.