CSK star earns maiden ODI call-up a day after IPL title win

The Sri Lankan side picked for the ODI series against Afghanistan features two of their playing incumbents part of their just successful campaign. 
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Chennai Super Kings' (CSK) tremendous revival after a horrid last campaign and ascent to their fifth trophy in IPL 2023 have proven to be a blessing for one of their incumbents at the international stage. One day after clinching victory in the thrilling finale against Gujarat Titans (GT), one of the CSK stars has received a maiden call-up for his country at the highest level.

The franchise's unorthodox right-arm seamer Matheesha Pathirana has been an immediate beneficiary of his critical contributions in CSK's triumph. The young pacer, who was playing U-19 cricket for Sri Lanka until early last season, has been picked for the Island nation's forthcoming ODI series against Afghanistan.

Pathirana is part of the 16-member squad picked by Sri Lanka for the three-match ODI series set to be played in Hambantota from June 2-6. The series offers the speedster a great opportunity to impress the selectors and the management ahead of the global qualifiers to be played later in June in Zimbabwe, where the 20-year-old can potentially bolster his 2023 World Cup inclusion. 

Pathirana named in Sri Lanka's ODI squad for Afghanistan series 

Pathirana, who was reportedly handpicked by the legendary MS Dhoni himself for CSK honours prior to the mega auction for IPL 2022, repaid that trust this season for the five-time champions.

After impressing in parts during his two outings last summer, the young gun took a whopping 19 wickets in 12 matches of IPL 2023 at a respectable 8.01 runs an over. 

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Proven particularly effective in the death-overs phase with his unorthodox action and ability to nail the yorkers, the Sri Lankan has been fast-tracked at the top level for his qualities and the impact he can potentially make. 

His unique streak could be especially fruitful for the Sri Lankans when they enter the ICC global qualifier and take on associate sides who wouldn't be familiar with his slingy arm-release and below-the-eye-line operation. 

Apart from Pathirana, mystery spinner Maheesh Theekshana is another CSK first-choice playing member part of the Lankan Lions' squad for the Afghanistan series.