Sri Lanka drop Dickwella, Samarawickrama returns

Colombo (Reuters): Sri Lanka left out wicketkeeper-batsman Niroshan Dickwella from their 15-member squad for the first test against Ireland and called up Sadeera Samarawickrama after a five-year absence.

Dickwella was also dropped for the second test defeat to New Zealand after he failed to impress with the bat in the first match in Christchurch last month.

The squad, which was announced on Wednesday, included Nishan Madushka and Samarawickrama as the wicketkeeping options. Madushka made his test debut in New Zealand, while Samarawickrama played the last of his four test matches in December 2017.

Fast bowlers Kasun Rajitha and Lahiru Kumara were reportedly rested, with Asitha Fernando, Vishwa Fernando and the uncapped Milan Rathnayake among the pace bowling options.

Oshada Fernando and Chamika Karunaratne were also left out, while leg spinner Dushan Hemantha earned a first call-up and left-arm spinner Lasith Embuldeniya was recalled to the squad, which is captained by Dimuth Karunaratne. The first test will begin on April 16 followed by the second on April 24, with both contests to be held in Galle.

Squad: Dimuth Karunaratne (captain), Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Dhananjaya De Silva, Kamindu Mendis, Nishan Madushka (wk), Sadeera Samarawickrama, Ramesh Mendis, Prabath Jayasuriya, Dushan Hemantha, Lasith Embuldeniya, Asitha Fernando, Vishwa Fernando, Milan Rathnayake.