Sri Lanka announce 18-man squad for Bangladesh Test series
The inclusions of uncapped wicketkeeper-batter Kamil Mishara, spin-bowling allrounder Kamindu Mendis, left-arm quick Dilshan Madushanka and legspinner Suminda Lakshan are among eight changes to Sri Lanka's Test squad for their tour of Bangladesh this month.
Returning to the Test fold alongside them are batter Oshada Fernando, allrounder Ramesh Mendis, and fast bowlers Kasun Rajitha and Asitha Fernando.
Suranga Lakmal, who ended his international career following the tour of India earlier this year, makes way, as do fellow quicks Lahiru Kumara and Dushmantha Chameera, who is being rested from red-ball cricket until the T20 World Cup later this year.
There is also no room for legspinner Jeffrey Vandersay, nor batters Pathum Nissanka, Charith Asalanka and Lahiru Thirimanne. Nissanka is still recovering from the back injury that he suffered during the tour of India, while Asalanka has been asked to focus more on white-ball cricket.
Thirimanne, meanwhile, is understood to have been selected in the initial squad, but had requested for three months of paternity leave to be with his wife and newborn in Australia. The 32-year-old had an underwhelming tour of India, but had been among Sri Lanka's in-form red-ball batters before that.
Another player who was initially selected but requested to be omitted was Roshen Silva. The 33-year-old, who hasn't played a Test since 2019, is understood to have travelled to play in the UK without an NOC from SLC. He has been replaced by Kamindu Mendis.
Even with those exclusions, the batting group remains heavy on experience, with the playing XI likely to consist of most - if not all - of Dimuth Karunaratne, Angelo Mathews, Kusal Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal and Dhananjaya de Silva. Mishara, Oshada, Chamika Karunaratne, Ramesh Mendis and Kamindu add further heft.
However, Sri Lanka might find themselves a little light in the bowling department. Their fast-bowling load will now be shared by Vishwa Fernando and Asitha Fernando, the uncapped Madushanka, allrounder Karunaratne and the returning Rajitha, who hasn't played a Test since picking up in groin injury at the tail-end of 2020 - a contingent with a combined 29 international caps among them.
Sri Lanka's spinners hardly fare any better, with the uncapped Lakshan part of three frontline spinners on tour; the left-arm pairing of Lasith Embuldeniya and Praveen Jayawickrama boast 19 Tests between them - the latter having only made his debut in 2021. However, the offspin of De Silva, and Ramesh and Kamindu, offer more options.
Sri Lanka will play two Tests against Bangladesh, the first of which will begin in Chattogram on May 15. The action will then move to Mirpur for the second Test from May 23.
Full squad: Dimuth Karunaratne (capt), Kamil Mishara, Oshada Fernando, Dhananjaya de Silva, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Kamindu Mendis, Niroshan Dickwella, Chamika Karunaratne, Ramesh Mendis, Suminda Lakshan, Kasun Rajitha, Vishwa Fernando, Asitha Fernando, Dilshan Madushanka, Praveen Jayawickrama, Lasith Embuldeniya