As Sri Lanka Cricket attempts to restructure, the ICC Under 19 World Cup is all set to be held in venues across New Zealand from the 13th of January to the 3rd of February 2018.
The Sri Lankan outfit will be led by the Ambidextrous Kamindu Mendis who also played in the previous U19 World Cup in Bangladesh.
Grouped alongside Pakistan, Ireland and Afghanistan, Sri Lanka will have to play all sides earlier in the tournament. The games against Pakistan and Afghanistan will test the young Sri Lankan side as both teams are in solid form. Moreover, the game against Ireland can’t be underestimated either.
Sri Lanka Squad for ICC U19 WC
Kamindu Mendis (capt), Dhananjaya Lakshan, Santhush Gunathilaka, Hasitha Boyagoda, Nawanidu Fernando, Nipun Dananjaya, Ashen Bandara, Kishan Sanjula, Nishan Madushka, Jehan Daniel, Praveen Jayawickrama, Haren Buddila, Thisaru Rashmika, Kalana Perera, Nipun Malinga.
Sri Lanka will begin their campaign on January 14 in Whangarei against Ireland, before playing Afghanistan on January 17. Their final group stage game will be against hot favorites Pakistan with back to back titles in 2004 and 2006.
However, the young Sri Lankan side is full of potential and capable of toppling any opponent in the Under 19 level.
From what we have seen in the past, Jehan Daniel, Praveen Jayawickrama and Hasitha Boyagoda can give Kamindu Mendis the support he needs with bat and ball. Mendis’ unauthodixy will also help Sri Lanka confuse and unsettle batsman early in the innings.
“Playing in two World Cups is a great thing. I think that experience can help me do more for my country and my team. The country is always looking to us, and I just want to do best for my country,” said Kamindu Mendis in a recent interview with the ICC.
Like Mendis, Jehan Daniel was also a member in last year’s U19 World Cup squad.
The Sri Lankan side is tipped to get away with a win against Ireland but the game against the Afghans will be a real tester as they are the current Asia U19 Cup holders. The Afghans easily got the better of Pakistan in the recently concluded final.
In last year’s World Cup, Sri Lanka finished fourth, losing to home side Bangladesh by three wickets in the third place playoff.
We at Daily Sports wish Kamindu and his team all the very best for the all-important tournament.
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