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June 18, 2023
Revamped Sri Lanka gear for now or never World Cup qualifying hurdle

Sri Lanka Cricket

By Srian Obeyesekere

It will be a knife thin edged now or never battle for former world champions and eighth ranked Sri Lanka that will throw their hat into the ring of the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup from the bottom five of the Super League having failed automatic qualification when they take on the UAE in the first of their four qualifiers on June 19 Sunday in Zimbabwean terrain. Dasun Shanaka’s charges Lankans closest rivals on paper are the 10the ranked West Indies and 11th and 12th ranked Zimbabwe and Ireland respectively.

As of 10 July 2018, Sri Lanka has played 816 ODI matches, winning 376 matches and losing 399; with 5 tied, and 36 no results.

Of course, Sri Lanka enter the fray in a clear shedding of a hitherto shaky outlook that has found strong muscle by the entry of former captain Dimuth Karunaratne to manning the upfront firing line, and the 27-year old wicket-keeper batsman, Sadeera Samarawickrama who has raised the batting strength at No. 4. Both Karunaratne, who notched a superb half century and Samarawickrama a run a ball 44 in routing Afghanistan in the final home ODI have been a buoyant spring in the step giving resources.

Sri Lanka’s other qualifying round matches will be against Oman on June 23, versus Ireland on June 25 and Scotland on the 27.

While on the ODI team rankings status quo, the 1995 world champions hold the edge over the West Indies, the twice former world champion Caribbean nation’s 31 to 29 win ratio from 65 past exchanges hold a slight edge on paper that once dominated the game winning the inaugural plum in 1975 and ’79 then dubbed the Prudential Cup. Meanwhile, Sri Lanka’s next closest rivals are Zimbabwe and Ireland.  Zimbabwe have faced each other in 60 matches in ODI. Out of these 60 games , Sri Lanka has a 46 to 12 win record over  Zimbabwe with 2 no results.

Sri Lanka does enjoy a clear 4 to 0 win record over Ireland which though holds out that upsetting threat having crossed the minnows tag to a great extent with a praiseworthy75-win record from 188 ODIs as of May 2023 having lost 97 with 3 ties and 13 no results with a winning percentage of 39.89.


 1) Dasun Shanaka – Captain
2) Kusal Mendis – (wk) Vice-Captain
3) Dimuth Karunaratne
4) Pathum Nissanka
5) Charith Asalanka
6) Dhananjaya de Silva
7) Sadeera Samarawickrama ( Wk)
8) Wanindu Hasaranga
9) Chamika Karunaratne
10) Dushmantha Chameera
11) Kasun Rajitha
12) Lahiru Kumara
13) Maheesh Theekshana
14) Matheesha Pathirana

15) Dushan Hemantha.


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