Kandamby recalled as Sri Lanka ring changes
Sri Lanka have named a substantially changed ODI squad for the first three games against England, jettisoning several ODI regulars in favour of players who had not been part of the limited-overs sides in the past year.
Sri Lanka will effectively field a new-look attack against England, but the most left-field selection is that of a batsman. Thilina Kandamby, 32, has not played and ODI since 2011, but will now be considered for a middle-order spot ahead of the World Cup.
Seamer Nuwan Kulasekara is the most high-profile exclusion, and his place is taken up by Shaminda Eranga, who had not played an ODI in over a year before the recent India series. Other changes to the attack include a recall for legspinning allrounder Jeevan Mendis, and Test offspinner Dilruwan Perera. Slow-bowling allrounders Seekkuge Prasanna and Chaturanga de Silva have been left out.
This series sees the return of Rangana Herath, after he had been rested against India, while spinner Ajantha Mendis, and quicks Lahiru Gamage and Dhammika Prasad retain their places in the squad. The attack's mediocre outings against India earlier in the month, contributed to the scale of the changes in the squad, a selector confirmed. Lasith Malinga remains unavailable until at least January, as he recovers from ankle surgery.
Kandamby effectively replaces Dinesh Chandimal and Ashan Priyanjan, both of whom had been tried in the India series, without encouraging results. Like Chandimal, Kandamby made a duck in Sri Lanka A's first practice match against England on Friday, but he earns a place through reputation as one of Sri Lanka's reliable domestic performers. He only played six innings in Sri Lanka's List A tournament this year, but collected his runs at an average of 62.33, with a strike rate of 84. Kandamby has played 38 ODIs in the past, briefly even captaining the one-day team, to return 870 runs at an average of 30.
Jeevan, meanwhile, had had a better outing in that warm-up match, hitting an unbeaten 42 at the tail-end of Sri Lanka A's innings. He also appears to have some bowling form behind him, having taken seven wickets from three matches in the Dhaka Premier League. Jeevan played his most recent ODI in July last year.
Dilruwan's limited-overs recall has taken much longer. He last played an ODI for Sri Lanka in 2008. He has established himself as Sri Lanka's no. 2 Test-match spinner behind Herath in 2014, but also had a good List A domestic tournament, taking 10 wickets at 12.60 in his seven matches.
Sachithra Senanayake remains banned from international cricket, but has recently undergone a re-test of his action, and, if cleared, has a chance of being available towards the end of the series. Seamer Suranga Lakmal is also expected to have recovered sufficiently from his ankle injury to become available by the fourth ODI.
Chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya had hinted Sri Lanka might try Test-opener Kaushal Silva at the top of the order, alongside Tillakaratne Dilshan, but Sri Lanka have not named him in this squad, retaining Kusal Perera instead. Gamage and Ajantha Mendis are not guaranteed World Cup spots, but they had been among the more impressive bowlers in India, and will be looked at closely, in this series.
Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando