Sri Lanka name strong World Cup squad

COLOMBO, Feb 12, 2007 (AFP) – Sri Lanka on Monday named middle-order batsmen Russel Arnold and Chamara Silva alongwith paceman Nuwan Kulasekara in a proven squad for the World Cup in the Caribbean. “We feel this is the right combination for the World Cup,” chairman of selectors Asantha de Mel told AFP soon after the 15-man squad was approved by the sports ministry.

“The team has got a nice blend of youth and experience. We are well prepared and we feel this team can go all the way to win the World Cup.”

Mahela Jayawardene will lead the squad which includes veteran opener Sanath Jayasuriya and spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan.

The selectors decided on the World Cup squad soon after Sri Lanka recorded a thrilling five-run win over India in the second one-dayer in Rajkot on Sunday.

Sri Lanka lead the four-match series 1-0 after the opening game in Kolkata was abandoned due to rain after 18.2 overs.

Arnold and Silva took the last two batting spots and Kulasekara was included as the fifth member of the pace attack led by the seasoned Chaminda Vaas.

Silva earned a place due to his excellent form in New Zealand in January and Arnold and Kulasekara returned to the squad after