makes his return to the Sri Lanka limited-overs squad for South Africa's tour of the island, following a bout with Covid-19. According to medical staff, it seems unlikely that he will be available for the ODI leg of the tour, as he builds up his fitness after recovering from the disease. But as cardiac and pulmonary screenings have cleared him to play, it is hoped that he will be available for the T20I series.
Meanwhile, veteran seamer Nuwan Pradeep
, and experienced batter Dinesh Chandimal
return as well, on the back of good performances in the recently-concluded domestic T20 tournament.
Younger players also found places in the squad thanks to their form in SLC's Invitational T20 League. Legspinner Pulina Tharanga
, who was joint-highest wicket taker, and Kamindu Mendis
, who was the second-highest scorer in the league, with 193 runs from three innings at a strike rate of 168, are in. Offspinner Maheesh Theekshana
, and seam bowler Lahiru Madushanka
did not quite impress to the same extent, but have found places nonetheless.
Omitted from the squad are the likes of left-arm wristspinner Lakshan Sandakan
, seam bowler Kasun Rajitha
, and middle order batter Ashen Bandara
, each of whom had modest outings in the limited overs series against India, in July.
Pradeep, meanwhile, had been left out for that India tour, but comes back in after having taken a tournament-topping seven wickets at an economy of 8.18 in the Invitational League. Chandimal had been captain of the SLC Reds team that made the final of that tournament, and had hit 183 runs in six innings, albeit at a strike rate of 120. He has played only three T20 internationals since 2019.
Sri Lanka's captain, Dasun Shanaka
, comes into the series with excellent domestic form as well, having easily been the top-scorer in the Invitational League, thumping 258 runs at a strike rate of 184.
The tour will comprise three ODIs and three T20Is, all to be played at Khettarama, in Colombo. The first ODI is set to be played on September 2.