Sri Lanka pacer Lasith Malinga, who until recently was out of favour with the selectors, has been appointed as the captain for the upcoming ODI and T20I series against New Zealand. He replaces Dinesh Chandimal, who led the side in the recently concluded ODI series and Thisara Perera, who captained in T20s against England.
The 35-year old has been given the captaincy just three months after making his return to the international level at the Asia Cup in the UAE and has since then featured in all four ODIs versus England last month. Malinga has captained the national side a total of 10 times - nine in T20Is and a sole ODI, which was against India in August 2017.
The series will also mark the return of All-rounder Angelo Mathews, who was recently axed from the limited-overs squads due to fitness issues. Fellow all-rounder Asela Gunaratne also makes a return to the national side.
A major absence in the side is that of Akila Dananjaya who has been suspended from bowling in international cricket after an independent assessment found his action to be illegal. Seekkuge Prasanna and left-arm wrist-spinner Lakshan Sandakan will have to share the burden in the slow bowling department.
Nuwan Pradeep, Dshmantha Chameera, Kasun Rajitha and Lahiru Kumara will be the pace-bowling options for Malinga, apart from himself when they kick-start their limited-overs series on January 3, 2019.
ODI and T20I Squad:
Lasith Malinga (c), Niroshan Dickwella (vc), Angelo Mathews, Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Perera Dinesh Chandimal, Asela Gunaratne, Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya De Silva, Thisara Perera, Dasun Shanaka, Lakshan Sandakan, Seekkuge Prasanna, Dushmantha Chameera, Kasun Rajitha, Nuwan Pradeep, Lahiru Kumara