Sri Lanka pick rookie spinner
Colombo - Hosts Sri Lanka on Thursday included rank newcomer Akhila Dhananjaya in a 15-man squad for next month's World Twenty20, while recalling unorthodox spinner Ajantha Mendis.
Dhananjaya, a 19-year-old off-spinner who has yet to play first-class cricket, was selected after taking taking seven wickets in four matches of the ongoing Sri Lanka Premier League Twenty20 competition.
Mendis, 27, last played for Sri Lanka in South Africa in January, having been sidelined with a back injury for home matches against England, Pakistan and India this year.
Mendis, who bowls leg-spin with a unique finger-flicking action, has taken 40 wickets in 21 Twenty20 internationals.
Batsman Dilshan Munaweera and Dhananjaya are the two uncapped players in the squad.
Veteran batsman Kumar Sangakkara and seamer Nuwan Kulasekara, who were injured during last month's limited-overs series against India, were included subject to passing fitness tests, Sri Lanka Cricket said in a statement.
Sri Lanka are drawn with South Africa and Zimbabwe in group C of the preliminary league, with two teams advancing to the next round.
The hosts take on Zimbabwe in the opening match of the tournament in Hambantota on September 18.
Sri Lanka's squad:
Mahela Jayawardene (captain), Angelo Mathews, Kumar Sangakkara, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Lahiru Thirimanne, Jeevan Mendis, Dilshan Munaweera, Thisara Perera, Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Kulasekara, Rangana Herath, Ajantha Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal, Shaminda Eranga, Akhila Dhananjaya.