Kusal Perera returns to the Sri Lanka Test squad for the two-match series against England while Lahiru Thirimanne has been left out. This is the only change to the 15-member squad that travelled to Zimbabwe for a two-Test series in January.
Perera, the star of Sri Lanka's come-from-behind win against South Africa in Durban last year, was left out for the Zimbabwe tour. Sri Lanka's chief selector Ashantha de Mel had justified the non-selection by mentioning that the presence of Dinesh Chandimal and Angelo Mathews in the squad meant that there was no place for Perera.
Perera's last Test outing was against New Zealand in August 2019, a series in which he managed scores of 1, 23, 0 and 0. He was subsequently left out for the Pakistan Tests and also didn't feature in the squad for the Zimbabwe series.
The 30-year old Thirimanne, despite being in the squad, didn't play the Tests against Zimbabwe with Sri Lanka preferring Oshada Fernando to partner skipper Dimuth Karunaratne at the top of the order.
The SLC, on Monday (March 9), also announced that they will name a replacement player for Wanindu Hasaranga before the first Test against England, which starts on March 19 in Galle. The second Test will be played from March 27 at the SSC in Colombo.
Squad: Dimuth Karunaratne (capt), Oshada Fernando, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Kusal Perera, Dhananjaya De Silva, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Dilruwan Perera, Lasith Embuldeniya, Lahiru Kumara, Vishwa Fernando, Kasun Rajitha, Lakshan Sandakan, Suranga Lakmal, Wanindu Hasaranga (injured, replacement to be named before first Test)