Johannesburg: Sri Lanka skipper Angelo Mathews has pulled out of next month`s tour to Zimbabwe due to a calf injury.
In his absence, veteran spinner Rangana Herath will lead the squad for the two-match Test series against Zimbabwe, starting on October 29 in Harare.Herath will become the oldest player to lead a Test team for the first time since Somachandra de Silva in 1983.
"Sri Lanka Cricket is pleased to announce that veteran spinner Rangana Herath will lead the 15-man squad in the two-match Test series against Zimbabwe commencing October 29 in Harare," a statement issued by the board said, and was reported by Sport24.
Although the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) did not reveal the reason behind Mathews` withdrawal, the official sources confirmed that a recurring calf injury forced him to rest ahead of the three-match Test series against South Africa starting late December.
The 29-year-old skipper has now joined his deputy Dinesh Chandimal, who was also sidelined because of a thumb injury he sustained during a domestic match last month.
With the withdrawal of these premium players, Lanka have brought in three new faces in the squad against Zimbabwe--fast bowlers Kasun Madushanka and Lahiru Kumara and all-rounder Asela Gunaratne.