Zoysa recalled for England tour
Nuwan Zoysa, the left-arm fast bowler, and Prasanna Jayawardene, the wicketkeeper, have been recalled to Sri Lanka's Test squad for the tour of England in April.
Zoysa makes a comeback to the national team after two years. He played the last of his 30 Tests against Australia at Cairns in July 2004. Zoysa replaces Dilhara Fernando who has been left out to sort out his problem of bowling no-balls. Zoysa was overlooked because of his lack of commitment but in the recently concluded domestic season he took 26 wickets (avg. 19.30) from nine matches to help SSC clinch the Premier trophy league title.
Selection committee sources said that Jayawardene has been included in the team as reserve wicketkeeper to Kumar Sangakkara. As it is a long tour with so many games against county sides the consensus of opinion amongst the selectors is that Sangakkara should not be burdened too much.
Since making his Test debut in 2000, Jayawardene has appeared in only five Tests and is not expected to make it to the Test team unless he runs into good form with the bat. The inability to put enough runs on the board has sidelined Jayawardene and his place was taken by an allrounder in the side.
With a question mark hanging over the fitness of Marvan Atapattu, the captain, the selectors have named Jehan Mubarak as standby. Atapattu has been struggling to overcome a recurring back injury and he is expected to make a final decision on his fitness this week.
Apart from Atapattu, the other two openers named in the squad are Upul Tharanga and Michael Vandort. In Atapattu's absence for the recently concluded home Test and one-day series against Pakistan, Mahela Jayawardene led the team. He may be expected to do so again if Atapattu does not pull through.
Chamara Kapugedera, 19, is not only the youngest member of the team but is also the only uncapped player in the side. Selection committee sources said that Ruchira Perera was not considered for selection because he had not recovered sufficiently from a hamstring injury. They were hopeful that he will be fit for the one-day series which starts in June.
The three-Test series precedes the five one-day internationals, for which the selectors will name a separate squad later. The first Test is scheduled to start at Lord's on May 11.
Test squad Upul Tharanga, Marvan Atapattu (capt), Michael Vandort, Kumar Sangakkara (wk), Mahela Jayawardene, Thilan Samaraweera, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Chamara Kapugedera, Prasanna Jayawardene (wk), Farveez Maharoof, Chaminda Vaas, Malinga Bandara, Muttiah Muralitharan, Nuwan Zoysa, Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Kulasekera