Sri Lanka is all set to enter the ICC World Cup Qualifiers which will start on 18 June 2023. The outcome of the tournament will give the final two teams which will play in the upcoming ICC World Cup 2023. On June 9, the Sri Lanka cricket authority revealed their squad for the upcoming World Cup Qualifier 2023. In 2023, this will be the 2nd time when Sri Lanka will appear in the World Cup Qualifier. For the first time, they entered the Qualifier round of the World Cup in 1979.
Sri Lanka will kick off their journey in the Qualifier round with the first match against the United Arab Emirates at Queens Sports Club, Bulawayo on 19 June 2023. Then they will face Oman in their 2nd match on 23 June 2023 at the same stadium. On 25 June 2023, Sri Lanka will contest its 3rd match with Ireland and then, they will face Scotland in their last match on 27 June 2023.
The Sri Lankan team will be captained by Dasun Shanaka under the coaching of Chris Silverwood. Sri Lanka will enter the competition with an optimistic and positive attitude since they recently defeated Afghanistan in the 3 ODI series. The Sri Lankan skipper, Dasun Shanaka has got experience of 48 ODIs only and he has scored 1067 runs with 2 centuries and 3 half centuries. He has also taken 15 wickets and his best bowling record is 5 for 43.
Sri Lanka Squad ICC World Cup Qualifiers 2023
- Dasun Shanaka (Captain)
- Charith Asalanka
- Dhananjaya de Silva
- Wanindu Hasaranga
- Chamika Karunaratne
- Dushan Hemantha
- Dushmantha Chameera
- Dimuth Karunaratne
- Pathum Nissanka
- Kasun Rajitha
- Sadeera Samarawickrama (wicket keeper)
- Kusal Mendis (wicketkeeper)
- Maheesh Theekshana
- Lahiru Kumara
- Matheesha Pathirana
Moreover, after showcasing his exceptional performance for the Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League, Matheesha Pathirana has been chosen for the Sri Lankan squad. He used his special and tricky bowling technique to take an impressive total of 19 wickets in the tournament.
Another newcomer, Dushan Hemantha is also picked by Sri Lanka along with Pathirana. Interestingly, Hemantha has only played one ODI match in his career, which took place just a week ago against Afghanistan. Kusal Mendis has been appointed as the Vice Captain of the Sri Lanka team and he will also play the role of Wicket Keeper. However, the experienced player Angelo Mathews has not been included in the playing squad that will be departing for Zimbabwe as there is no available spot for him.
Since 1975, Sri Lanka has appeared 12 times in the ICC ODI World Cup where they successfully won their maiden World Cup title in 1996 by defeating Australia. After winning the World Cup in 1996, Sri Lanka reached the final round 2 more times in 2007 and 2011 but they could not lift the title. In 2007 and 2011, they were defeated by Australia and India.
Overall, as of June 2023, Sri Lanka has played a total of 83 matches in the ICC World Cup out of which they won 38 matches and lost 39 matches including 1 tied match and 5 matches ended without any outcome.
Additionally, Sri Lanka successfully made it to the semi-finals of the 2003 World Cup and the quarter-finals of the 2015 World Cup. It is interesting to know that Sri Lanka holds the record for the most defeats in the One Day International i.e., 441.
At present, Sri Lanka is positioned 9th in the ICC ODI team rankings. Their highest accomplishment in the ICC rankings occurred in 1997 when they secured the 2nd spot. So, it will be interesting to watch how Sri Lanka will perform in order to secure their place in the playoff.