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Asia Cup 2022

Sri Lanka Asia Cup preview: Squad, schedule and team news

Sri Lanka will begin their Asia Cup campaign against Afghanistan on August 27
by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Having won the title on five previous occasions, Sri Lanka are the second-most successful team in the Asia Cup. However, they have not played the final since the 2014 edition – the last time they were crowned champions.

Over the years, Sri Lanka have been a dominant force. Several legends have played vital roles in their five Asia Cup triumphs. In recent years, they have struggled a little, although that could be about to change with numerous exciting youngsters coming through the ranks.

Sri Lanka, on paper, do not have a squad as strong as India or Pakistan. However, they have plenty of excellent T20 players in their ranks. Wanindu Hasaranga, who has become a regular fixture in the IPL, is their most important player, given his ability to pick up wickets at regular intervals as well as perform with the bat.


Maheesh Theekshana, who represents the Chennai Super Kings in the IPL, may also have a massive role to play. Dushmantha Chameera has been ruled out of this year’s competition, but with a strong spin contingent, Sri Lanka would be hoping to tide over his unavailability.

With the bat, Sri Lanka have not been very consistent in the past few months. But in Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Charith Asalanka, Dasun Shanaka and Kusal Mendis, they have four batters who can accelerate early in their innings. Danushka Gunathilaka can also provide brisk starts, with Dhananjaya de Silva capable of taking up that responsibility in the middle overs.

Sri Lanka will begin their campaign against Afghanistan on August 27 at Dubai, before taking on Bangladesh on September 1 at the same venue. They may have been placed in a slightly tougher group, but with their quality, they will back themselves to reach the Super Four stage.

Sri Lanka Asia Cup 2022 schedule

(All timings are in local time; matches will begin at 2pm GMT)

August 27, Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan, Dubai International Stadium, 6pm

September 1, Sri Lanka vs Bangladesh, Dubai International Stadium, 6 pm

Sri Lanka in Asia Cup 2022: Key players

Wanindu Hasaranga

Hasaranga’s performances can easily define how Sri Lanka fare at the tournament. The leg-spinner has an uncanny knack of picking up wickets at crucial junctures and has proven himself to be a capable lower-order batter too. If the pitches aid spin, he can help Sri Lanka go deep into this year’s competition.

Charith Asalanka

Asalanka burst onto the scene at the 2021 T20 World Cup, scoring 231 runs at an average of 46.2 and a strike rate of 147. As vice-captain of the side, Sri Lanka would be hoping for him to produce similar numbers. Batting in the top order, Asalanka’s displays could shape how well Sri Lanka’s batting unit functions in the Asia Cup.

Asia Cup 2022: Sri Lanka squad and team news

Sri Lanka: Dasun Shanaka (c), Charith Asalanka (vc), Danushka Gunathilaka, Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Ashen Bandara, Dhananjaya de Silva, Wanindu Hasaranga, Maheesh Theekshana, Jeffrey Vandersay, Dinesh Chandimal, Praveen Jayawickrama, Chamika Karunaratne, Dilshan Madushanka, Matheesha Pathirana, Nuwanidu Fernando, Asitha Fernando, Pramod Madushan, Nuwan Thushara

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