Former skipper and Sri Lanka's best batsman, Angelo Mathews has made a return to the Test side that has been selected to play against the visiting South African side for 2 Test matches. Cricket Sri Lanka announced the squad on Thursday, July 5 in which Mathews pleasantly features for the Dinesh Chandimal led side.
Mathews, who has been very sadly fighting battles with injuries these days, had to fly back home midway from the just-concluded Test series in the Caribbean because of the birth of his second child. Temperamentally strong, Mathews would be desperate to make a telling statement by scoring lots of runs against what will be a tough South African attack.
The 16-man squad also has Rangana Herath and Kusal Perera but their inclusion depends on their fitness, which SLC and team management is presently monitoring and will have a few fitness tests for the two players as well.
Dinesh Chandimal has been included in the squad but his availability is also a big matter of discussion right now. Captain Chandimal, coach Chandika Hathurusingha and manager Asanka Gurusinha have been charged by the ICC for breaching ICC's Code of Conduct with regards to behavior contrary to the spirit of cricket and face a hearing on July 10. If they lose the hearing, they could all be suspended for two Tests.
Sri Lanka refused to take the field on the third day of the second Test against Windies after ball-tampering charges were laid against the side. Chandimal was found guilty of changing the condition of the ball and was suspended for the Barbados Test.
The selectors also have Asitha Fernando, Dasun Shanaka, Malinda Pushpakumara and Shehan Jayasuriya selected as standbys in case the hosts need reinforcements.
Sri Lanka will play the first Test in Galle from July 12 before moving to Colombo for the second Test from July 20. They will then feature in a five-match ODI series before South Africa's tour-ending one-off T20I in Colombo on August 14.
Dinesh Chandimal (c), Angelo Mathews, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Mendis, Kusal Janith Perera (Subject to Fitness), Danushka Gunathilaka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Roshen Silva, Niroshan Dickwella, Rangana Herath (Subject to fitness), Suranga Lakmal (vc), Dilruwan Perera, Akila Dananjaya, Lahiru Kumara, Lakshan Sandakan, Kasun Rajitha
(Inputs from Cricbuzz)