Malinga, Mathews not in SL squad for England tour
Colombo: Sri Lankan selectors on Wednesday left out fast bowler Lasith Malinga and all-rounder Angelo Mathews from the 16-member squad for the three-match Test series in England.
While Malinga, known as "The Slinger" for his low-armed delivery, struggles to maintain fitness in the longer version of the game, Mathews is still struggling to recover from a thigh muscle injury.
So Sri Lanka will have only one specialist all-rounder in Thisara Perera during the three Test matches.
In the absence of Malinga, veteran Dilhara Fernando will spearhead the pace attack, with Chanaka Welegedera, Suranga Lakmal and uncapped Nuwan Pradeep completing the fast bowling unit. And Suraj Randiv, Ajantha Mendis and Rangana Herath, forming the spin triumvirate.
The big guns of the Lankan cricket -- Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene and Thilan Samaraweera -- will form the strong middle order, while captain Tillakaratne Dilshan,
Taranga Paranavithana and left-hander Lahiru Thirimanna would be the specialist openers.
There will be no official vice-captain for the newly-appointed captain Dilshan in the tour of England and the selectors have clarified that former captain Kumar Sangakkara would act as cover for Dilshan during his forced absences, if any, from the field.
Meanwhile, promising young wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Chandimal also finds a place in the team after being excluded from the World Cup squad.
The first Test gets underway in Cardiff on May 26.
Sri Lanka squad: Tillakaratne Dilshan (capt), Tharanga Paranavithana, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Thilan Samaraweera, Dinesh Chandimal, Prasanna Jayawardene, Thissara Perera, Suraj Randiv, Ajantha Mendis, Rangana Herath, Dilhara Fernando, Chanaka Welegedara, Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep.