Sri Lanka in South Africa 2011-12 November 29, 2011

Thilan Samaraweera added to Test squad

ESPNcricinfo staff

Thilan Samaraweera, the Sri Lanka middle-order batsman, has been added to the Test squad for the tour of South Africa after being initially overlooked. Mahela Jayawardene missed the last ODI and Twenty20 against Pakistan in the UAE because of a knee injury, and although he is in no danger of missing the South Africa tour, Sri Lanka's selectors wanted Samaraweera as cover.

"I had a meeting with the national selectors today and they made a request to add Thilan as an additional player and I have approved that request," Sri Lanka's sports minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage told the Island.

Samaraweera had been dropped for the third Test of the home series against Australia, after which he was left out of the series against Pakistan in the UAE. Duleep Mendis, Sri Lanka's chairman of selectors, had said Samaraweera would not figure in the long-term plans of the selectors who intended to give more opportunities to youngsters.

Sri Lanka play three Tests in South Africa, where they have never won a Test, followed by a five-ODI series. The first Test starts in Centurion on December 15.

Sri Lanka squad: Tillakaratne Dilshan (capt), Angelo Mathews (vice-capt), Tharanga Paranavitana, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Dinesh Chandimal, Kaushal Silva (wk), Lahiru Thirimanne, Dimuth Karunaratne, Chanaka Welegedara, Dilhara Fernando, Nuwan Pradeep, Suranga Lakmal, Thisara Perera, Ajantha Mendis, Rangana Herath, Thilan Samaraweera.