Dimuth Karunaratne has been named as captain of the Sri Lankan ODI team ahead of the upcoming World Cup in England.
“Karunaratne’s appointment was ratified by the Minister of Telecommunications, Foreign Employment and Sports Honorable Harin Fernando,” Sri Lanka Cricket confirmed through a media release.
Although Karunaratne has not played an ODI since the 2015 World Cup, his leadership during the Test series win in South Africa had tipped him as a left-field captaincy choice for the World Cup.
The news will be a moral blow to Malinga. Although Malinga had led Sri Lanka to a World T20 trophy in 2014, his one-day captaincy has produced abysmal results – the team losing each of the nine ODIs they have played under his leadership.
The third major option for the captaincy may in fact have been the selectors’ first choice: Angelo Mathews, who has been Sri Lanka’s ODI captain in two separate stints before. But he is understood to have ruled himself out. Mathews’ relationship with coach Chandika Hathurusingha had become incredibly strained following the player’s axing last year.
While most teams have been finalising their squads for the World Cup, Sri Lanka have been going through a tough time trying to figure out who can lead their charges in England come May, 2019.