Perera, Gunaratne return to Sri Lanka ODI squad v India

Lasith Malinga

Sri Lankan cricketer Lasith Malinga

Jayasekera has the power to make two changes to the squad named by Sri Lanka Cricket.

Sri Lanka has named Thisara Perera captain of a 16-member squad to play three one-day internationals against India, with opening batsman Kusal Perera also coming back into the squad after a almost six-month injury layoff.

In an unprecedented development, the Sports Minister, Dayasiri Jayasekera last night had ordered all nine Sri Lanka ODI players heading to India for the Limited Over leg of the current series to return home as they were leaving the country without his approval. Speed merchant Nuwan Pradeep made a comeback in the team whereas veteran seamer Lasith Malinga was overlooked. Left-arm spinning all-rounders, Chathuranga De Silva and Sachith Pathirana have also been added to the touring party.

Asela Gunaratne, who had picked up a thumb fracture during the Galle Test against India, was also cleared for selection by the medical staff. Sri Lanka had left out Nuwan Pradeep and Kusal Mendis from the Test series due to various concerns ranging from swelling workload to loss of form.

When News1st inquired the Sports Minister regarding the matter, he claimed that he was not asked to approve the ODI team by Sri Lanka Cricket, which is why he called back the team. Perera was heavily criticised for the 5-0 drubbing Sri Lanka suffered at the hands of Pakistan.

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The 28-year-old has so played 143 ODI matches, scoring 3288 runs at 32.23.

Of the members of the Test squad, Lahiru Thirimanne, Angelo Mathews, Niroshan Dickwella, Suranga Lakmal, Sadeera Samarawickrama and de Silva will stay on for the series, starting with the first game in Dharamsala on December 10.

"The team has been ratified by the Sports Minister Hon".

Sri Lanka will be boosted by Gunaratne's presence.

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