Mathews returns as SL name squad for England Test series
Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has announced a 22-member squad for the upcoming Test series against England. Star all-rounder Angelo Mathews returns to the Test fold after missing last month's South Africa tour due to a hamstring injury. Mathews was originally named in the Sri Lankan squad for South Africa series, however, he later withdrew after suffering a hamstring injury in a domestic T20 competition.
Nuwan Pradeep earns a Test call-up after three years
The hosts have recalled fast bowler Nuwan Pradeep, who played his last Test in 2017 against Pakistan. The likes of Roshen Silva, Lakshan Sandakan, and the uncapped Ramesh Mendis have also received call-ups. Meanwhile, Dhananjaya de Silva, Kasun Rajitha, Santhush Gunathilake, and Dilshan Madushanka, who were all a part of the South African tour, have been left out.
Mathews on the brink of scripting history
Marquee all-rounder Mathews played his last Test against Zimbabwe in January 2020. Notably, he is 19 runs shy of completing 6,000 runs in Test cricket. He will be only the fifth Sri Lankan to accomplish this feat. Mathews also owns 33 Test scalps.
A look at Sri Lanka's squad for England Test series
Sri Lanka's squad for England Test series: Dimuth Karunaratne (captain), Kusal Janith Perera, Dinesh Chandimal, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Oshada Fernando, Niroshan Dickwella, Minod Bhanuka, Lahiru Thirimanne, Lasith Embuldeniya, Wanindu Hasaranga, Dilruwan Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Kumara, Vishwa Fernando, Dushmantha Chameera, Dasun Shanaka, Asitha Fernando, Roshen Silva, Lakshan Sandakan, Nuwan Pradeep, Ramesh Mendis.
ICC WTC: A crucial series for England
The impending series will be crucial for England with respect to the ICC World Test Championship. This will be their penultimate series in the championship before they conclude the campaign against India in February. Meanwhile, Sri Lanka don't have much to gain as they have slipped on the standings (22.2 points percentage) after getting cleaned up 0-2 by the Proteas.
The series begins from January 14
The two Tests are scheduled to be played on January 14-18 and 22-26 at the Galle International Stadium. Notably, the Joe Root-led England had beaten Sri Lanka 3-0 on their last tour (in 2018). It is interesting to note that Sri Lanka haven't claimed a series win against England at home since 2007 (they won the three-Test series 1-0).