Lasith Malinga steps down from Sri Lankan captaincy ahead of World Twenty20

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Sri Lanka's new selection committee, comprising of former greats Arvinda De Silva and Kumar Sangakkara, have wasted no time in making big changes to the team - just days before they play in the World Twenty20.

The most noticeable alteration is their captaincy change, as fast bowler Lasith Malinga has stepped down from the role.

It was under his captaincy, when the Islanders won the tournament last time around in Bangladesh in 2014.


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The 32-year-old missed the majority of the recent Asia Cup due to a knee injury, and he himself handed the board of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) a letter revealing his participation in the upcoming tournament is still uncertain due to his slow recovery. He will however, remain in the squad on the off-chance he will become available.

All-rounder Angelo Mathews will now lead the side in the biggest cricket event of the year. The 28-year-old has already led the team in the other two formats so will not be overwhelmed by the occasion.

Left-handed batsman Lahiru Thirimanne and fast bowler Suranga Lakmal have also been brought in the squad in place of Jeffrey Vandersay and Niroshan Dickwella.

Thirimanne’s initial omission from the squad, in particular, caused a stir as he was one of the few consistent batsmen for Sri Lanka throughout 2015 in the limited over formats.

However, the newly-appointed selectors showed support for the left-hander, and his inclusion will bring a steady presence to a batting order which had problems throughout the Asia Cup.

Discussing the selection of the 26-year-old, chief selector De Silva revealed why he made the decision.

"If you look at what the other teams are doing, they've got a batsman who gives stability and helps consolidate, at no.3.

"We wanted someone who could do that, and Thirimanne has been scoring runs at home."

Sri Lanka are placed in the Super 10 Group 1 alongside England, South Africa, West Indies and the winner of group B from the first stage of the competition.

Sri Lanka squad:

Angelo Mathews (capt), Dushmantha Chameera, Dinesh Chandimal, Lahiru Thirimanne, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Rangana Herath, Shehan Jayasuriya, Chamara Kapugedera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga, Thisara Perera, Sachithra Senanayake, Dasun Shanaka, Milinda Siriwardana, Suranga Lakmal

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T20 World Cup
Sri Lanka cricket
Kumar Sangakkara
England cricket
Kevin Pietersen

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