Bhanuka Rajapaksa axed from Australia T-20s citing fitness concerns
Hard-hitting top order batsman Bhanuka Rajapaksa has been axed from the side for the upcoming five match T-20 series in Australia starting next month. Rajapaksa had reversed his decision to retire a fortnight ago after an appeal by Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa. The Island learns the 30-year-old left-hander had failed to meet the necessary fitness standards.
It is believed that it took Rajapaksa more than nine minutes to complete the two kilometer run while his skinfolds were as high as 110. Players need to finish the two kilometer run under eight minutes and 35 seconds to be eligible for selection and they need to have skinfolds below 80.
There was no room for Kusal Janith Perera as well, who was overlooked for the home series against Zimbabwe as he was recovering from injury.
Avishka Fernando, Kamil Mishara and Janith Liyanage, who all had tested positive for COVID have been named in the squad while Danushka Gunathilaka is making a comeback after his suspension ended early. Niroshan Dickwella was overlooked.
Meanwhile Charith Asalanka has been named as Vice-Captain to Dasun Shanaka.
SLC also announce that Interim Coach Rumesh Ratnayake will not travel with the team to Australia as he had tested positive for COVID. Ratnayake is expected to join the team on a later day.
The five match series will be played at MCG, SCG and Canberra.Sri Lanka squad for Australia T-20s:
Dasun Shanaka (Captain), Charith Asalanka (Vice-Captain), Avishka Fernando, Pathum Nissanka, Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal, Chamika Karunaratne, Janith Liyanage, Kamil Mishara, Ramesh Mendis, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lahiru Kumara, Nuwan Thushara, Dushmantha Chameera, Binura Fernando, Maheesh Theekshana,. Jeffrey Vandersay, Praveen Jayawickrama and Shiran Fernando.