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May 13, 2014
Middle-order batsman Ashan Priyanjan and slow-bowling allrounder Chaturanga de Silva have been retained in Sri Lanka's squad for the five-match ODI series against England. Both players, 24, have had a moderately successful introduction to international cricket so far, with Priyanjan earning a place ahead of Kithuruwan Vithanage, and de Silva's left-arm spin allowing the selectors to rest Rangana Herath ahead of the Test series.
The series also sees the return of four senior players in Mahela Jayawardene, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Lasith Malinga and Kumar Sangakkara. Jayawardene and Dilshan are already with the squad, as Sri Lanka play their first warm-up match, against Essex, on Tuesday. Sangakkara and Malinga will join the team ahead of their second practice game on Friday - Sangakkara arriving from a brief county stint with Durham, and Malinga from the IPL. Allrounder Thisara Perera also joins the team, after having failed to receive his Ireland visa in time to play that leg of the tour.
Fast bowler Shaminda Eranga, who was part of the ODI side in Ireland, was left out, as were batsmen Upul Tharanga, Niroshan Dickwella and Kithuruwan Vithanage. The core of Sri Lanka's pace attack for the series will be formed by Malinga, Thisara, Nuwan Kulasekara and Suranga Lakmal, with the captain Angelo Mathews providing support. The selectors later added Dhammika Prasad as an additional squad member, after an emergency Executive Committee meeting.
The tour is Lahiru Thirimanne's first as vice-captain since replacing Dinesh Chandimal in that capacity. Perhaps the most significant decision to be made on match-day is where Thirimanne should bat. He has so far been impressive both as an opener as well as at No. 3, but is less-suited to positions down the order, where he routinely played in 2013.
The team will play two 50-over warm up matches, before taking on Sussex in a T20 practice match on May 18. The ODI series begins on May 22, in London. Sri Lanka have won each of the nine ODIs they have played this year, including the Asia Cup, in March.
Squad: Angelo Mathews (capt), Lahiru Thirimanne (vice-capt), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kusal Perera, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Dinesh Chandimal, Ashan Priyanjan, Sachithra Senanayake, Ajantha Mendis, Chathuranga De Silva, Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Kulasekara, Thisara Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Dhammika Prasad.
* May 13, 5.00pm GMT: This story has been updated with news of Dhammika Prasad's inclusion
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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