Chandimal axed from Lanka ODI squad

Thisara-led team cleared to travel amid much drama

Sri Lanka batsman Kusal Perera and all-rounder Asela Gunaratne have returned to the one-day international squad for the three-match series against India, the Sri Lanka Cricket said on Tuesday after much drama on Monday when the team was not allowed to travel on country's Sports Minister's disapproval of the team.

Kusal has not played international cricket since suffering a hamstring injury in this year's Champions Trophy and Gunaratne was included in the 16-man squad after recovering from thumb surgery in July.

Test skipper Dinesh Chandimal did not get a place in the touring party led by Thisara Perera, who takes over the reins from Upul Tharanga.

Fast bowler Nuwan Pradeep was included after the board preferred not to play him in the ongoing Test series against India to manage his workload.

Sri Lanka have lost 21 one-dayers in the calendar year and won only four matches. They face the Rohit Sharma-led India in the first match on Sunday in Dharamsala.

Players stopped

Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera had stopped nine cricketers leaving for India earlier on Tuesday he was reportedly unhappy with the team choice.

The nine players were on their way to Colombo airport late on Monday for the overnight flight when they were ordered to return, one of the team members said on condition of anonymity.

Sports Ministry sources said Jayasekera was incensed that the players had been cleared to leave before he had given formal approval to the team selection.

A 1973 law gives the Sri Lankan sports minister the power to change national teams before they compete.

The squad: Thisara Perera (capt), Upul Tharanga, Danushka Gunathilaka, Lahiru Thirimanne, Angelo Mathews, Asela Gunaratne, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Chaturanga de Silva, Akila Dananjaya, Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Dhananjaya De Silva, Dushmantha Chameera, Sachith Pathirana, Kusal Perera.

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