Economy

Mathews ruled out, SL pick Samarawickrama and Roshen Silva

Sri Lanka all-rounder and former skipper Angelo Mathews has been ruled out of the first test against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi next week with a calf injury, but the uncapped Sadeera Samarawickrama, Roshen Silva and Lahiru Gamage are in the squad. It also marks the return of opener Kaushal Silva, who wasn't a part of the home Test series against Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, and India.

Sri Lanka will play two Test matches against Pakistan - at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi from September 28 followed by the second game, where Sri Lanka will play its inaugural pink-ball game from October 6 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. However, his availability for the 2nd Test is yet to be known. The 22-year-old Sadeera Samarawickrama will remain a backup to Niroshan Dickwella with the wicket-keeping role.

Middle order batsman Silva could be given the chance to make a late test debut for his country at the age of 28, along with fast bowler Gamage, who is a year older.

Malinda Pushpakumara didn't find a place in the squad after suffering in the Indian series.

Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep and the returning Rangana Herath - who has not played since August after being rested for their final clash with India due to an increased risk of injury - will be expected to be shoulder the burden in the attack in Mathews' absence. The selectors also named five standby players which includes the mystery off-spinner, Akila Dananjaya.



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