Mahela Jayawardene, whose wife is expecting their child, has been rested for the limited-overs leg of Sri Lanka’s tour of United Arab Emirates. Sri Lanka will play Pakistan in two Twenty20 International matches, three One-Day Internationals and three Test matches, with the first T20I scheduled in Dubai on December 11.
Kithruwan Vithanage, the 22-year-old, left-hand batsman, who has so far represented Sri Lanka in two Test matches, was named as Jayawardene’s replacement. Rangana Herath was rested from the T20I side owing to excessive cricket. “Rangana Herath was rested considering the excessive amount of cricket he played and the available cricket for him up to WC (World Cup) 2015,” said a release issued by Sri Lanka Cricket.
While Herath has been an integral part of the Test and ODI side for quite some time now, he has featured in only four T20Is. In his last T20I appearance, in the 2012 ICC World T20 semifinal, he returned figures of 3 for 25 to help Sri Lanka beat Pakistan by 16 runs and qualify for the final.
Herath will join the ODI squad for the first match on December 18 at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. Also missing from the ODI squad is Ajantha Mendis. Seekkuge Prasanna, the legspinner, who last played for Sri Lanka in the 2012 Asia Cup, has replaced him.
The Test squad will be announced at a later date.
T20I squad: Dinesh Chandimal (capt), Lasith Malinga, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kusal Perera, Kumar Sangakkara (wk), Angelo Mathews, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kithruwan Vithanage, Thisara Perera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Seekkuge Prasanna, Suranga Lakmal, Sachithra Senanayake, Ajantha Mendis, Ramith Rambukwella (subject to fitness).
ODI squad: Angelo Mathews (capt), Dinesh Chandimal, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kumar Sangakkara (wk), Lahiru Thirimanne, Ashen Priyanjana, Kithruwan Vithanage, Thisara Perera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga, Suranga Lakmal, Sachithra Senanayake, Rangana Herath, Seekkuge Prasanna.