Sri Lanka will be without Lasith Malinga, their designated T20 captain, for the two-match series that culminates their New Zealand tour in January. Dinesh Chandimal, who led Sri Lanka in the format till Malinga took charge in 2014, has been named the stand-in captain.
Opening batsman Danushka Gunathilaka and pacer Suranga Lakmal, who are part of the current ODI squad in New Zealand, have been named as replacements ahead of the T20 series that begins in Mount Maunganui on January 7.
Malinga sustained a knee injury during the home series against West Indies in October-November and was initially deemed unavailable only for the five-match ODI series.
Malinga's absence is yet another setback to an inexperienced Sri Lanka team that is already missing the services of Dhammika Prasad and Kusal Perera. While Prasad flew back home before the first Test with a back injury, Perera was suspended by the ICC for failing a dope test.
Sri Lanka lost both Tests on the tour, and are currently 2-0 down in the five-match ODI series.