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Dimuth Karunaratne in talks for the Sri Lanka captaincy position in the World Cup

Lasith Malinga is the current captain of the Sri Lankan limited-overs national teams.

Dimuth Karunaratne
Dimuth Karunaratne. (Photo Source: ICC)

Back in December 2018, fast bowler, Lasith Malinga was appointed as the captain of the limited-overs side for Sri Lanka. Despite the change in leadership, the team hasn’t been able to emerge victorious in even a single match. Meanwhile, after Dinesh Chandimal was dropped from Test captaincy ahead of South Africa tour, opening batsman Dimuth Karunaratne was selected as the captain in the longest format.

It was under him that a touring Sri Lankan side registered a 2-0 historic win over an impenetrable South Africa. But all of that seems to be history now as they were whitewashed in the five-match ODI series which followed. Yet again Malinga’s captaincy failed to improve Sri Lanka’s barren condition in the One-day International scene. With the World Cup knocking at the door, it sure is an alarming situation for the Lankans.

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In these dire situations, the Sri Lankan management might want to make some changes in the leadership point of view. Malinga, the current ODI captain, is still not given the World Cup duties. In such a scenario, captaincy responsibilities might fall back on the estranged former captain Angelo Mathews. While he is a more popular and familiar figure in the team, the recent accomplishment in the Test format has also brought Karunaratne at the forefront.

I could become one-day captain, says Karunaratne

The 30-year-old left-hander played an ODI at the 2015 World Cup, that was ages back. The red-ball specialist has always only made sporadic appearances in the shorter format and that explains his weak numbers in ODIs. He averages a meagre 15.83 in 17 matches in the format. However, Karunaratne has been asked to stay behind to play in the provincial one-day tournament and not leave to participate for Hampshire immediately.

The selectors will use this as an opportunity to evaluate his fitness for the role of ODI captaincy. “The selectors haven’t confirmed anything, but they’ve told me to keep in mind there’s a possibility I could become one-day captain. They’ve asked me to stay back for the provincial tournament. If I get picked for the World Cup squad, there will be camps and training after that as well, so I might not be able to go to Hampshire in those months,” said Karunaratne.

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