''We still have not found permanent players for number six and seven positions in the team for the world cup to be held in West Indies. We are hopeful that with the final tournament being played in India prior to the world cup, we will be able to find a batsman and an all-rounder in the middle-order,'' Chairman of the Selection Board of the Sri Lanka Cricket Asantha de Mel said prior to the team's departure this morning.
Mr Asantha de Mel, who opened the bowling for the island nation's first Test against England in 1982, hoped that players like off-spinner Malinda Bandara and all-rounder Upul Chandana would make use of the opportunity to get into the final 15-member squad for the world cup series.
''I hope the new players will make use of the opportunity created by the absence of Vaas and Murali to prove their form and potentials,'' Mr. Asantha de Mel said.
These four one-day games, prior to the world cup are equally crucial for India as they decide their best combination for next month's World Cup in West Indies.
Mahela Jayawardene (capt), Kumar Sangakkara (vice-capt, wk) Upul Chandana, Russel Arnold, Marvan Atapattu, Malinga Bandara, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Dilhara Fernando, Sanath Jayasuriya, Nuwan Kulasekara, Farveez Maharoof, Lasith Malinga, Chamara Silva, Upul Tharanga and Nuwan Zoysa.