Sri Lanka Drop Samaraweera For Pakistan Test Series
Sri Lanka have dropped experienced batsman Thilan Samaraweera for the upcoming three-match Test series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates.
Samaraweera, a veteran of 68 Test matches, has paid the penalty for a poor run of form which saw him score just 86 runs in four innings in the recent 1-0 series defeat to Australia.
He was dropped for the third and final match but Sri Lanka are likely to continue with Lahiru Thirimanne opening the batting and captain Tillakaratne Dilshan bolstering the middle order during the series, which gets underway on 18th October.
Comments from chairman of selectors Duleep Mendis suggest that Samaraweera is unlikely to return to the squad as Sri Lanka look to the future.
"Thilan will not come into the reckoning in our long term plans," Mendis was quoted as saying by Reuters.
"We intend giving youngsters an opportunity while the seniors are around. He might be considered on a short term basis."
Uncapped fast bowler Nuwan Pradeep as well as wicket-keeper Kaushal Silva are also named in a 16-man squad as Sri Lanka continue to search for their first Test win since the retirement of Muttiah Muralitharan.
Leg-spinner Seekkuge Prasanna, who made his debut in the Australia series, has not been included as the selectors instead opted to go with the experience of Rangana Herath and Suraj Randiv.
Ajantha Mendis was not considered due to a back injury while vice-captain Mathews is to play as a batsman only due to a knee problem which he has travelled to Australia for treatment on prior to the series.
Sri Lanka Test squad: Tillakaratne Dilshan (captain), Angelo Mathews (vice-captain), Dinesh Chandimal, Shaminda Eranga, Rangana Herath, Mahela Jayawardene, Prasanna Jayawardene, Suranga Lakmal, Tharanga Paranavitana, Nuwan Pradeep, Dammika Prasad, Suraj Randiv, Kumar Sangakkara, Kaushal Silva, Lahiru Thirimanne, Chanaka Welagedara
18th-22nd October: 1st Test, Abu Dhabi
26th-30th October: 2nd Test, Dubai
3rd-7th November: 3rd Test, Sharjah
11th November: 1st ODI, Dubai
14th November: 2nd ODI, Dubai
18th November: 3rd ODI, Dubai
20th November: 4th ODI, Sharjah
23rd November: 5th ODI, Abu Dhabi
25th November: Twenty20 International, Abu Dhabi
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