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Marvan out of Abu Dhabi tour

Malinda, Ishara make their debuts

CRICKET: The national selectors yesterday omitted veteran opening batsman Marvan Atapattu and included two uncapped players Malinda Warnapura and Ishara Amarasinghe for Sri Lanka teams short tour of Abu Dhabi next week.

The Lankans will play three one day internationals against Pakistan on May 18, 20 and 22 in their first major tournament since their successful campaign at the recent World Cup in the Caribbean.

The chairman of national selectors Ashantha de Mel said that they decided to drop Atapattu as they wanted to groom young players. As a result two promising players Malinda Warnapura and Ishara Amarasinghe both from Colts CC will make their first appearance with the Sri Lanka squad.

Stylish middle order batsman Warnapura has been a prolific scorer for the Sri Lanka A team as well as in all domestic tournaments during the past couple of years. He reached his climax in March this year when he hammered a career best unbeaten double century against the touring Bangladesh A team on his home grounds at Havelock Park.

Warnapura followed up with another unbeaten century in the second one day match as he guided Sri Lanka A to a three nil clean sweep after having won the unofficial test series two nil.

In addition Warnapura had a fantastic tour of India last year where he emerged as the most successful batsman in the Dulip Trophy domestic tournament. He piled up a total of 421 runs including two centuries and two fifties to finish with a superb average of 105.25.

Fast bowler Ishara Amarasinghe too gets his chance for the first time after making some significant contributions with the Sri Lanka A team.

He has impressed a lot during the past few months where he has excelled while representing the Sri Lanka A team during their tours to the West Indies and India respectively.

Amarasinghe is one of the brightest prospects and could be considered as one of the fastest bowlers in the local scene today.

The former Nalanda College captain has been able to bowl at a pace of nearly 140 kilo metres per hour and is rated in the class of Dilhara Fernando and Lasith Malinga.

Only nine of the 15 players who represented the country in the recent World Cup were named in the squad for the series with veterans Kumar Sangakkara, Muttiah Muralitharan and Chaminda Vaas being released by Sri Lanka Cricket to play county cricket in England.

In addition Russel Arnold has retired from international cricket while paceman Nuwan Kulasekara who played just one game in the World Cup were also left out along with Marvan Atapattu. However the chairman of national selectors Ashantha de Mel said that 36 year old Atapattu a veteran of 268 one day internationals will be considered in the future.

Meanwhile Prasanna Jayawardene who keeps wicket in Tests for Sri Lanka, has been named wicketkeeper in the absence of Kumar Sangakkara. Leg spinner Kaushal Lokuarachchi and paceman Ruchira Perera were recalled to the 15 member squad along with middle order batsman Chamara Kapugedera.

			Sri Lanka squad: 

NAME                     	AGE	CLUB        	ODI

Mahela Jayawardena (cap)  	29  	SSC         	247
Tillekeratne Dilshan (vc) 	30   	Bloomfield     	120
Sanath Jayasuriya         	37   	Bloomfield     	390
Dilhara Fernando          	27  	SSC         	112
Farveez Maharoof          	22   	Bloomfield       66
Upul Tharanga             	21  	NCC          	 54
Lasith Malinga            	23  	NCC          	 36
Chamara Silva             	27   	Sebastianites    25
Malinga Bandara           	27  	Ragama CC     	 24
Ruchira Perera            	30  	Colts CC 	  8
Chamara Kapugedera        	20  	CCC          	 18 
Kaushal Lokuarachchi      	24  	Bloomfield   	 18
Prasanna Jayawardena      	27   	Sebastianites     3
Malinda Warnapura         	27  	Colts CC      	  0
Ishara Amarasinghe        	28  	Colts CC      	  0  

Stand byes: Akalanka Ganegama and Jehan Mubarak.  
Officials: Michael Tissera (Manager), Tom Moody (Coach),
	   Trevor Penney (Assistant Coach), Tommy Simsek (Physiotherapist),
	   C. J. Clark (Trainer), Nalin De Alwis (Computer Analyst),
	   Lal Thamel (Masseur), Shabir Asgarally (Selector on Tour).
 

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