Leadership Transition in Sri Lankan Cricket

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Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has announced Dhananjaya de Silva as the new captain of the Sri Lankan Test cricket team, marking the beginning of 2024 with a change in leadership across all formats. This decision follows the recent appointments of Kusal Mendis and Wanindu Hasaranga as captains of the ODI and T20I sides, respectively.

Dhananjaya de Silva, aged 32, will become the 18th player to captain Sri Lanka in men’s Test cricket when he leads the team in the upcoming one-off Test against Afghanistan. He succeeds Dimuth Karunaratne, who captained the team in 30 Tests between 2019 and 2023, achieving a record of 12 wins, 12 losses, and 6 draws during his tenure.

Karunaratne’s captaincy began with a historic series victory against South Africa, and although subsequent results were less spectacular, he provided stability to the team during a period of transition in Sri Lankan cricket. His leadership also saw a significant improvement in his batting performance, with an average of nearly 50, compared to his career average of 40.93.

In contrast, Dhananjaya de Silva has been a consistent member of the Test squad, featuring in 51 matches and amassing 3301 runs at an average just below 40.

Expressing his thoughts on the captaincy changes, chief selector Upul Tharanga mentioned, “I would have preferred to have the same captain for all three formats, but we are unable to do that at the moment with the players we have.”

The appointment of Dhananjaya de Silva as the Test captain reflects Sri Lanka’s commitment to nurturing leadership talent and ensuring a smooth transition across formats. Sri Lankan cricket fans will be eagerly anticipating de Silva’s leadership debut as he takes charge of the Test team in the upcoming match against Afghanistan.

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