Angelo Mathews, the Sri Lankan skipper, was ruled out of next month’s two-Test home series against Bangladesh, even as the selectors prepared to field a “formidable team”, Sri Lankan Cricket said in a statement on Saturday (February 25).
The 29-year-old allrounder, however, was “likely to be available” for the three One-Day Internationals and the two Twenty20 International matches that will follow, with the Test series beginning with the first match on March 7 at Galle.
The Sri Lanka selectors are set to meet on Tuesday to decide on the team that would play the first two Test matches.
“Accordingly, it has been announced that Mathews will not be able to play the first two Test matches,” the board said.
The board did not say why Mathews was dropped from the Test squad, but he returned home last month half way through the South African tour after twisting his ankle. Under his leadership, Sri Lanka suffered a 3-0 Test series whitewash against South Africa.
He was also left out of the just concluded three-match T20I series which Sri Lanka won 2-1 against Australia.
“Despite his absence, the selections committee is confident that the lessons learnt from the South African series will help in putting together a formidable young team to take on the first two matches against the Bangladesh team,” the board said.
Sri Lanka have a good record at home and have beaten Australia 3-0 in the last series that they hosted in August 2016.
Bangladesh, by contrast, have won only three of their Test matches on the road since gaining full status 17 years ago although they have shown recent signs of improvement and beat England in a home Test late last year.
The last series between the two sides in Sri Lanka in 2014 saw the hosts win one of the Tests by 248 runs while the second was a draw.