Suranga Lakmal has been shouldered with the responsibility to lead the Sri Lankan Test team in the Day-Night Test against West Indies at Barbados, slated to start from Saturday (June 23). Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) made the decision after the ICC appointed Judicial Commissioner, Michael Beloff, disapproved Dinesh Chandimal's plea against the ball tampering sanction.
Following the drawn second Test between Sri Lanka and West Indies in St. Lucia, ICC Match Referee Javagal Srinath had found Chandimal guilty of tampering with the ball. Subsequently, the ICC had banned Chandimal for one Test and fined him 100% of his match fees.
Rangana Herath was another contender to lead the Test team but the veteran spinner is a doubtful starter for the third Test as he split the webbing between his ring and small fingers of right hand during the practice session on Thursday (June 21).
Surprisingly, Herath didn’t play in the St. Lucia Test as Sri Lanka had included off-spinner Akila Dananjaya in the bowling attack that comprised three seamers.
Meanwhile, Lakmal is having a good time in the Caribbean. Although Sri Lanka are trailing in the Test series 1-0, the right-armer has scalped 7 wickets in 2 Tests at an impressive average of 26.42.
The Kingston Test will be Lakmal’s very first assignment as Sri Lanka’s captain. The 31-year-old hasn’t even led his country in the limited-overs cricket. As far as Suranga Lakmal’s bowling credentials in Test cricket is concerned – he has claimed 109 wickets in 46 Tests with three 4-wicket hauls and one fifer.