SLC domestic tournament replaces Zimbabwe tour
Sri Lanka Cricket has announced a triangular four-day tournament to begin on October 8, which effectively replaces the postponed Test tour of Zimbabwe. The tournament features Sri Lanka's Test side and its best first-class talent. Two of the matches will be played at the Sinhalese Sports Club grounds and the third at the P Saravanamuttu Oval.
The Board XI - which largely comprises Sri Lanka's Test players - will play a Sri Lanka A team and a Development team, with those teams also playing a match against each other. The Board XI is led by Test captain Angelo Mathews, while Dinesh Chandimal and Lahiru Thirimanne - both of whom are also being groomed for leadership - will captain the other teams.
"We want to give those youngsters a chance for the future," chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya said. "Chandimal and Thirimanne are good prospects for the future, and we wanted to give some responsibility to these two youngsters also."
Prasanna Jayawardene will keep wickets for the Board XI, suggesting he may remain in the selectors' plans for Tests. Shaminda Eranga is a notable exclusion from the Board XI, but Jayasuriya said he had only been selected in another team because it would provide each of the cricketers in Sri Lanka's fast-bowling battery with match practice.
"We just picked the teams in a way in which everyone can play," he said. "We put some important players in other teams to do that. Eranga is there so he can play every game and bowl a lot. This will allow us to give them experience and make use of everybody."
The tournament will have first-class status and will be the only domestic four-day tournament played this year, with Premier League matches having been contested over three days. Forty-six players have been named in the squads in total.
Board XI: Angelo Mathews (capt), TM Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Dimuth Karunaratne*, Angelo Perera, Prasanna Jayawardene (wk), Nuwan Kulasekara, Sachithra Senanayake, Rangana Herath, Suranga Lakmal, Thisara Perera, Ajantha Mendis, Lahiru Jayaratne, T Priyashankar
Sri Lanka A: Dinesh Chandimal (capt & wk), Mahela Udawatte, Pabasara Waduge, Kaushal Silva, Kithuruwan Vithanage, Ashan Priyanjan, Chaturanga de Silva, Ishan Jayaratne, Dilruwan Perera, Nuwan Pradeep, Vimukthi Perera, Madura Lakmal, Chathura Randunu, Ramith Rambukwella, Bhanuka Rajapaksa
Development Team: Lahiru Thirimanne (capt), Shehan Jayasuriya, Kusal Perera (wk), Rumesh Buddika, Sachithra Serasinghe, Roshen Silva, Dhanushka Gunathilaka, Madawa Warnapura, Tharindu Kaushal, Malinda Pushpakumara, Vishwa Fernando, Kanishka Alvitigala, Lahiru Gamage, Shaminda Eranga, Niroshan Dickwella, Seekkuge Prasanna
*Dimuth Karunaratne was added to the Board XI squad after his name had been mistakenly omitted
Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here