(Reuters) - Sri Lanka have named an expanded 22-man squad for their test series in South Africa and at home to England, although they will be without the experienced Angelo Mathews for the first of those through injury.
Dimuth Karunaratne will skipper the side and hope for a repeat of their upset victory in two tests in South Africa last year when they became the only Asian side to win a series there.
Kusal Perera’s unbeaten 153 in the chase in the first of those matches was one of test cricket’s great innings and the left-hander has been selected again.
The loss of Mathews, 33, to a hamstring injury sustained in the domestic Lanka Premier League Twenty20 competition is a blow for the batsman, though he is hoping to be fit to face England.
Mathews recently told Reuters his days as an all-rounder in test cricket were over after persistent hamstring and calf problems.
Sri Lanka will arrive in South Africa on Saturday, with the first test in Pretoria starting on Boxing Day. The second will be in Johannesburg from Jan. 3.
Sri Lanka’s two-test home series with England begins in Galle on Jan. 14.
Squad: Dimuth Karunaratne (captain), Kusal Perera, Dinesh Chandimal, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews*, Oshada Fernando, Dhananjaya De Silva, Niroshan Dickwella, Minod Bhanuka, Lahiru Thirimanne, Lasith Embuldeniya, Wanindu Hasaranga, Dilruwan Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Kumara, Vishwa Fernando, Kasun Rajitha, Dushmantha Chameera, Dasun Shanaka, Santhush Gunathilake, Asitha Fernando, Dilshan Madushanka.
*Available for England series only
(Reporting by Nick Said; Editing by Ken Ferris)