Sri Lanka v West Indies 2005 July 4, 2005

Atapattu to lead Sri Lanka Cricket XI in practice match

Marvan Atapattu: needs some match practice ahead of West Indies series © Getty Images
Sri Lanka's captain Marvan Atapattu will lead the Sri Lanka Cricket XI in a two-day warm-up game against the touring West Indies as he continues to recover from a nagging back injury. He will use the match, which starts on Saturday and will be held at the NCC grounds, to gain some vital match practice ahead of the forthcoming two-Test series against West Indies which starts on July 13. It will be the tourists' only practice match.

This will be Atapattu's first competitive match for nearly three months: he last played in the second Test against New Zealand at Wellington which finished on April 14. He is undergoing treatment from former Sri Lanka team physio Alex Kountouri.

Sri Lanka's vice-captain Mahela Jayawardene, the wicket-keeper/batsman Kumar Sangakkara and batsman Tilan Samaraweera will also play in the match to gain practice for the Tests. Although Sangakkara and Jayawardene have at least played two one-day charity matches in England, Samaraweera has not played any competitive cricket for more than two months.

Six of the 14 players picked for the squad toured Pakistan recently with the Sri Lanka's Under 19. Their captain Harsha Vithana has been included in the squad along with Upul Tharanga, Kaushal Silva, Gihan de Silva, Chamara Kapugedera and Charitha Jayaweera.

The Sri Lanka Cricket XI squad Marvan Atapattu (capt), Upul Tharanga, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Tilan Samaraweera, Gihan de Silva (wk), Kaushal Lokuarachchi, Suraj Mohamed, Chanaka Wijesinghe, Thilan Thushara, Charitha Jayaweera, Chamara Kapugedera, Harsha Vithana, Kaushal Silva.

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Three changes have been made to the 14-member squad picked for the decisive third and final Test between Sri Lanka A and West Indies A which starts at the P. Saravanamuttu Stadium on Thursday. Three of the full Test side have been drafted in to give them match practice ahead of the Tests against West Indies. Tillakaratne Dilshan, Rangana Herath and Farveez Maharoof will play ahead of a trio of dropped players: Dilhara Fernando, Kaushal Lokuarachchi and Suraj Mohamed. The three-match unofficial Test series stands at 1-1.

Sri Lanka A squad Russel Arnold (capt), Avishka Gunawardene, Ian Daniel, Shantha Kalavitigoda, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Prasanna Jayawardene (wk), Farveez Maharoof, Danushka Lokuhettige, Nuwan Zoysa, Rangana Herath, Sajeewa Weerakoon, Malintha Gajanayake, Michael van Dort, Gayan Wijekoon.