Sri Lanka leave out Angelo Mathews, Thisara Perera for New Zealand T20Is

Squad of 15 includes five frontline seamers, led by captain Lasith Malinga, for the series of three matches beginning September 1

Angelo Mathews last played a T20I in August 2018

Angelo Mathews last played a T20I in August 2018  •  Getty Images

Angelo Mathews and Thisara Perera are among the most high-profile omissions from Sri Lanka's squad for the upcoming T20I series against New Zealand, along with the likes of Suranga Lakmal and Dhananjaya de Silva. The selectors have named a youthful squad, with only two players above the age of 30 - captain Lasith Malinga and seam bowler Isuru Udana. Niroshan Dickwella, who was not picked in the World Cup squad or for the home ODIs that followed, has been named vice-captain of the team.
The selectors are understood to have dropped Mathews on account of what they felt was a modest scoring rate at the beginning of his innings. Concerns about his running between the wickets also persist. Thisara, meanwhile, had a poor World Cup and is believed to have lost form considerably following an excellent year in 2018.
The squad features no fewer than five frontline seam bowlers - Malinga leading a cohort that includes Kasun Rajitha, Lahiru Kumara and the recalled Lahiru Madushanka, in addition to Udana. Akila Dananjaya has also been named despite a big cloud hanging over his head, in the form of a biomechanics assessment that he must pass in order to avoid a year's suspension. Left-arm wristspinner Lakshan Sandakan and legspinner Wanindu Hasaranga are the other spinners.
Avishka Fernando, the 22-year-old batsman who impressed at the World Cup, is among the top-order options in the squad. Middle-order hitter Dasun Shanaka has been recalled as well.
The three T20Is will all be played in Pallekele, the first on September 1.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @afidelf