Sports Monks

Lasith Malinga returns to the Sri Lankan side after one year

Sri Lanka have sprung a few surprises in their 16-member squad for the upcoming 2018 Asia Cup that will get underway in the United Arab Emirates from September 15.

Fast bowler Lasith Malinga has been recalled to the national team after being on the sidelines for nearly one year. Malinga last played an international match for the Lankans against India in September 2017.

The squad will be led by Angelo Mathews in spite of their regular captain Dinesh Chandimal returning to the side after serving his suspension for his involvement in ball tampering.

However, the biggest surprise is that of wicketkeeper-batsman Niroshan Dickwella, who has been left out of the squad but named as one of their four stand-bys which include the likes of Lakshan Sandakan, Nuwan Pradeep, Snehan Jayasuriya and Snehan Madhushanka. In the absence of Dickwella, Kusal Perera is likely to don the gloves for Mathews and co. in the upcoming Asia Cup.

Sri Lankan squad: Angelo Mathews (c), Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis, Upul Tharanga, Dinesh Chandimal, Danushka Gunathilake, Thisara Perera, Dasun Shanaka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Akila Dananjaya, Dilruwan Perera, A Aponso, Kasun Rajitha, Suranga Lakmal, Dushmantha Chameera and Lasith Malinga.

Pakistan name 18-member preliminary squad for the Asia Cup

Pakistan, on the other hand, have axed former skipper Azhar Ali and have recalled all-rounder Imad Wasim and opener Shan Massod to their 18-member preliminary squad for the Asia Cup. All the 18 players will attend the preparatory camp which will get underway at the Gaddafi stadium in Lahore on September 3 and will undergo fitness tests before the final squad is named.

Pakistan's preliminary squad: Fakhar Zaman, Imam ul Haq, Shan Masood, Mohammad Hafeez, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Haris Sohail, Sarfraz Ahmed (c), Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Imad Wasim, Hassan Ali, Usman khan Shinwari, Mohammad Amir, Junaid Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Faheem Ashraf.

Sri Lanka are grouped alongside Bangladesh and Afghanistan in the Asia Cup while Pakistan are in the other group which also involves their arch-rivals India and a qualifier.

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