Sri Lanka news September 13, 2013

Chandimal to lead against NZ A

Dinesh Chandimal will captain the Sri Lanka A side against New Zealand A in the first unofficial Test, which begins on September 17, with Dimuth Karunaratne to serve as his deputy.

Neither Chandimal nor Karunaratne were in the preliminary squad for the A tour, but with Sri Lanka's October tour of Zimbabwe since having been called off, both players will now have some match practice in what shapes to be a three-month break from international cricket.

Batsman Kusal Perera and 20-year-old offspinner Tharindu Kaushal are notable exclusions from the squad. Perera had starred in the first-class tournament early in the year, and had been part of Sri Lanka's limited-overs teams for much of the year, but has since encountered a lean patch.

Kaushal had also had a remarkable first-class season - his first - in which he took 50 wickets at 15.20. He had been named in two Sri Lanka Test squads without getting a game, but mediocre returns with the A team in the Caribbean has put him out of favour with the selectors.

The first-class tournament's top scorer, Kaushal Silva, and top wicket-taker, Malinda Pushpakumara, have both been named in the squad, with Kithuruwan Vithanage and Angelo Perera, who have played for Sri Lanka in the last six months, also earning call-ups. Fast bowler Nuwan Pradeep will continue his return from injury with the A team.

The first unofficial Test will be played in Pallekele, before the action moves to Dambulla. New Zealand A have been in India, where they lost the ODI series 3-0.

Sri Lanka A squad for the first unofficial Test: Dinesh Chandimal (c), Dimuth Karunaratne (vc), Angelo Perera, Kithuruwan Vithanage, Nuwan Pradeep, Kaushal Silva, Malinda Pushpakumara, Vimukthi Perera, Madura Lakmal, Ishan Jayaratne, Ashan Priyanjan, Udara Jayasundara, Sachithra Serasinghe, Chaturanga de Silva, Dilruwan Perera

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here