Dimuth Karunaratne, who averages a poor 15.83 after 17 matches in ODIs, will play in the the provincial one-day tournament which will give the selectors time to assess his suitability for the role. @ AFP

Dimuth Karunaratne, who last played an ODI at the 2015 World Cup, is in line to lead Sri Lanka at the ICC World Cup 2019. According to a report in ESPNCricinfo, Karunaratne has been asked to stay behind after he was signed by Hampshire for the first half of the 2019 season. (ALSO READ: Sri Lanka Test captain Dimuth Karunaratne signs with Hampshire)

Karunaratne, who averages a poor 15.83 after 17 matches in ODIs, will play in the the provincial one-day tournament which will give the selectors time to assess his suitability for the role. The decision comes after Sri Lanka’s current captain Lasith Malinga is yet to notch up a win in nine matches.

“The selectors haven’t confirmed anything, but they’ve told me to keep in mind there’s a possibility I could become one-day captain,” Karunaratne said. (ALSO READ: 1st T20I: In-form South Africa seek to continue winning momentum)

“They’ve asked me to stay back for the provincial tournament. If I get picked for the World Cup squad, there will be camps and training after that as well, so I might not be able to go to Hampshire in those months.”

Karunaratne, a Test regular, has been used in ODIs very sporadically, but after leading Sri Lanka in the historic two-Test series win against South Africa, he has now become a hot contender. Following the success, Ashantha de Mel, the chairman of selectors told Sunday Times in an interview that the committee “wants to see what Dimuth did for the Test team, with the ODI team”.

Karunaratne is among some of the candidates for the World Cup captaincy. Malinga is still in the race to keep his job, while former captain Angelo Mathews is also in the mix, being a popular figure among his team-mates.