Sri Lanka’s strategic move: hasaranga’s test return averts T20 world cup setback.

Wanindu Hasaranga’s comeback to the Sri Lankan Test side wasn’t a tactical maneuver to dodge T20 World Cup fixtures later in the year, clarifies Sri Lanka Cricket.

Following a disciplinary ban due to accumulating demerit points for dissent against an umpiring decision during Sri Lanka’s match against Bangladesh on March 18, Hasaranga swiftly reversed his retirement decision to join Sri Lanka’s Test squad against Bangladesh. This move preceded the ICC’s ruling, which escalated his demerit points to eight, necessitating his absence from either two Tests, four ODIs, or four T20Is, depending on the sequence.

Had Hasaranga not been included in the Test squad, the ban would have jeopardized his participation in Sri Lanka’s T20 World Cup campaign in June. However, by rejoining the Test team, despite his absence from first-class cricket for over a year, Hasaranga ensured serving his ban during Sri Lanka’s subsequent two Test matches.

SLC reveals that Hasaranga communicated his interest in Test cricket selection, citing improved fitness levels, in an email on March 16. Additionally, Ajantha Mendis from Sri Lanka’s selection committee disclosed that Hasaranga had expressed his desire to play Tests even earlier.

Although there’s speculation surrounding Hasaranga’s Test return and its implications, SLC confirms compliance with regulations, leaving little room for intervention.

While Hasaranga’s participation in the Tests would have affected his availability for Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL 2024, it appears Sunrisers were unaware of his Test plans.

This isn’t the first instance of Sri Lanka capitalizing on technicalities. In the 2012 T20 World Cup, strategic maneuvers, like Kumar Sangakkara briefly assuming captaincy, were employed to mitigate potential sanctions, showcasing Sri Lanka’s adeptness in navigating such situations.