Sri Lanka name U-21 development squad as part of programs to increase talent pool

Maiden call-up for Sandeepani; Mendis, Ranaweera and Ranasinghe left out of Sri Lanka's T20 World Cup squad

Sri Lanka senior side © Getty Images

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) handed over contracts to a 20-member Under-21 development squad as part of their plan to increase the talent pool on Monday (November 29).

As per the statement released earlier, the squad was selected from 120 players after SLC conducted a country-wide talent hunt program. The players are selected from the district squads that were already in place. These selected cricketers are currently undergoing training in skill development and fitness as part of a three-month special training program. District and provincial coaches will oversee the camp during this period.

Ravin Wickramaratne, Vice President of Sri Lanka Cricket addressed the players on the occasion. "We selected the best 20 players out of a talent screening done among 120 players, and this is a great opportunity for you’ll to capitalize and launch an international cricketing career. However, you need to work hard to get to your goal," he said.

All the squad members are on financial assistance contract for the three-month period starting from November 1. Once they complete the program, there will be further screening with assessment on their skills and if passed they will be part of Sri Lanka’s district and provincial sides for tournaments that are expected to be played from March-April next year.

ALSO READ: Sri Lanka await travel advice from ICC after six squad members test positive for Covid-19

Sri Lanka's senior side last played international cricket when they were part of the T20 World Cup in Australia in March 2020. After the first-round exit at the tournament, they haven’t played any competitive through the COVID-19 pandemic period. Sri Lanka returned to the international action at the World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe and played only one match before the tournament was canceled due to COVID-19 on November 27.


Sri Lanka Under-21 development squad: Randi Premarathna, Sansala Wanigasekara, Tharushi Rajakaruna, P.D.S.H. Maheshika, W.P. Nimesha Tharuni, Nawodya Nethmini, Emoksha Bashini, Savindi Nimalsha Cooray, Manohari Nisansala, Sulesha Sathsarani, Chethana Vimukthi, Ayesha Dilakshani, Lanka Thilini, Shanu Baskaran, Janani Weerakoon, Tharushi Sathsarani, Eranga Dissanayake, Mathurika Muralithasan, Dulanga Dissanayake, Methma Hettiarachchi