SLC picks full strength squad as contracts crisis ends
Colombo: Putting an official end to the contracts dispute with the players, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) today announced a full strength 16-member squad for the first Test against Bangladesh, commencing in Galle on Friday.
Twenty three cricketers, who had initially refused to sign the contracts and threatened to withdraw from the upcoming home series against Bangladesh, reached an agreement following a meeting with the chief selector, Sanath Jayasuriya.
After settling the contracts crisis, the Jayasuriya-led selection panel chose the best-available squad, which include four uncapped players.
Left-hand batsman Kithuruwan Vithanage, who scored a century in the tour game against the visiting Bangladeshis, and Kushal Janith Perera have been named in the squad.
Leg-spinning all-rounder Jeevan Mendis and 19-year-old off-spinner Tharindu Kaushal, who was although named in a Test squad once before but did not play, also got a call-up.
Meanwhile, Ajantha Mendis, who last played a Test in May 2011, has been recalled.
Former captain Mahela Jayawardene, who is yet to sign the new contact as he is out of the country at the moment, has been ruled out of the first Test due to a fractured finger.
Selectors dropped both Thilan Samaraweera and off-spinner Suraj Randiv because of their prolonged bad form.
Squad: Angelo Mathews (c), Dinesh Chandimal (vc, wk), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kumar Sangakkara, Lahiru Thirimanne, Shaminda Eranga, Kushal Perera, Jeevan Mendis, Kithuruwan Vithanage, Ajantha Mendis, Nuwan Kulasekara, Chanaka Welegedera, Suranga Lakmal, Rangana Herath, Tharindu Kaushal.