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News

Sri Lanka drop Dickwella, recall Embuldeniya for first Test against Ireland

The squad also includes Sadeera Samarawickrama and the uncapped legspinner Dushan Hemantha

Niroshan Dickwella fell within sight of his maiden Test hundred, Sri Lanka vs England, 2nd Test, Galle, 2nd day, January 23, 2021

Niroshan Dickwella has passed 15 only once in his last eight Test innings  •  SLC

Sri Lanka have left out wicketkeeper-batter Niroshan Dickwella from their 15-member squad for the first of the two-Test series against Ireland, which begins in Galle on April 16. They have named Nishan Madushka and Sadeera Samarawickrama as their wicketkeeping options.
Among the players who were part of Sri Lanka's most recent Test assignment, the two-match series in New Zealand, fast bowlers Kasun Rajitha and Lahiru Kumara have been rested according to news reports, while Asitha Fernando, Oshada Fernando and Chamika Karunaratne have also been left out.
With Sri Lanka playing at home, where there is expected to be a greater emphasis on spin bowling, left-arm spinner Lasith Embuldeniya has been recalled to the squad. Also called up is the uncapped legspinner Dushan Hemantha.
Madushka made his debut in Sri Lanka's most recent Test match in Wellington, the second of their recent tour of New Zealand, replacing Dickwella who made 7 and 0 in the first Test in Christchurch. Dickwella, who averages 30.97 after 54 Tests, has only once passed 15 in his last eight Test innings.
Samarawickrama returns to the Test squad after a long gap, having played the last of his four Tests - all of them as a specialist batter - in December 2017.
Ireland were initially scheduled to travel to Sri Lanka for one Test and two ODIs, before the tour was expanded to include a second Test. Sri Lanka have played eight Tests in the past 12 months, and had a gap of over six months between their home series against Australia and their tour to New Zealand, even though they had an outside chance of making the World Test Championship final at the start of that tour.
Dimuth Karunaratne had expressed his desire to step down as Sri Lanka captain after this series and said as much to the selectors but did not get a response. Karunaratne remains captain for the two Tests against Ireland. The series is not part of the WTC cycle but will complete Sri Lanka's scheduled games in that period.
Sri Lanka squad for first Test against Ireland: Dimuth Karunaratne (capt), Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Dhananjaya de Silva, Kamindu Mendis, Nishan Madusha (wk), Sadeera Samarawickrama (wk), Ramesh Mendis, Prabath Jayasuriya, Dushan Hemantha, Lasith Embuldeniya, Asitha Fernando, Vishwa Fernando, Milan Rathnayake