Colombo: Former Sri Lanka captains Dinesh Chandimal and Upul Tharanga were left out of the 15-man squad announced on Thursday for the World Cup in England and Wales, while spin-bowling all-rounders Milinda Siriwardana and Jeevan Mendis were recalled.

Chandimal was Sri Lanka’s one-day international captain as recently as October, while Tharanga led the side in 2017.

Tharanga’s fellow opener Danushka Gunathilaka also failed to make the cut, while Lahiru Thirimanne, who last played in the format at the end of 2017, was drafted in.

“We have an issue with opening batsmen. This is the reason why we went for experienced openers. We need that experience in England,” chief selector Ashantha de Mel said. “The openers were not in form. They were not among the runs in the last 10 games and they had failed. So we had to take a decision on the openers.” Jeffrey Vandersay was picked over mystery spinner Akila Dananjaya as the only specialist slow bowler, with Sri Lanka’s selectors rewarding the leg-spinner’s strong performances in a recent domestic 50-over tournament.

Squad: Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Avishka Fernando, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Dhanajaya de Silva, Jeffrey Vandersay, Thisara Perera, Lasith Malinga, Isuru Udana, Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep, Jeevan Mendis, Milinda Siriwardana