Sri Lanka leave out Samaraweera for Pakistan series

Sri Lanka left out middle-order batsman Thilan Samaraweera from a squad of 16 named on Wednesday for the three-match test series against Pakistan in the UAE next month.

By (Reuters)

Published: Wed 21 Sep 2011, 4:10 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 7:36 AM

Samaraweera, who turns 35 on Thursday and has a test average of over 52 in 68 tests, was dropped for the third and final test against Australia which ended in a draw on Tuesday to make way for young opener Lahiru Thirimanne.

Thirimanne opened the batting with Tharanga Paranavitana after captain Tillakaratne Dilshan decided to drop down the order to try and regain form.

Dilshan made an attractive 83 batting in Samaraweera’s position at number five and later said that he would prefer batting in that position in the future.

“Thilan will not come into the reckoning in our long term plans,” said chairman of selectors Duleep Mendis.

“We intend giving youngsters an opportunity while the seniors are around. He might be considered on a short term basis.”

Mendis said spinner Ajantha Mendis was not considered for selection as he was undergoing treatment for a recurring back injury.

The squad comprises all 11 players who played in the final test against Australia plus five others - batsman Dinesh Chandimal, bowlers Dammika Prasad, Suraj Randiv, Nuwan Pradeep and wicketkeeper Kaushal Silva.

All-rounder Angelo Mathews, named vice captain to Dilshan for the first time, will only play as a batsman.

“Angelo has gone to Australia for treatment for his left knee and we will not risk bowling him in the series,” said Mendis.

Sri Lanka play Pakistan in a series of three tests in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah starting on Oct. 18.

Sri Lanka will name a new squad for the five-match one-day international series and one-off Twenty20 at the end of the test series.

Sri Lanka test squad: Tillakaratne Dilshan (captain), Angelo Mathews (vice-captain), Tharanga Paranavitana, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Prasanna Jayawardene (wicketkeeper), Dinesh Chandimal, Rangana Herath, Suraj Randiv, Chanaka Welagedara, Suranga Lakmal, Shaminda Eranga, Dammika Prasad, Nuwan Pradeep, Kaushal Silva.

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