Mathews out of Sri Lanka squad for Eng Series after failing fitness test

 Sri Lanka all-rounder Angelo Mathews failed a fitness test on Friday and was left out of the 14-member squad picked for the first cricket test against England in Galle starting on Monday.

Mathews missed the Asia Cup because of a calf muscle injury and selectors picked middle-order batsman Chamara Silva to make up the squad.

"I don’t think we can use Mathews as an all-rounder in the future," said chief selector Ashantha de Mel. "Mathews has some problem with his legs and it is very unlikely he will bowl much. We have to look at him purely as a batsman."

Silva scored a magnificent 163 off 180 balls for a Sri Lanka Cricket President’s XI in a three-day warm-up match against England which ended on Thursday.

He has been in prolific form during the home first-class season and was the only batsman to top 1,000 runs.

Silva played the last of his 11 Tests for Sri Lanka in April 2008 against West Indies in Port of Spain and since then has been a regular player in the one-day side.

In Mathews’s absence, Thilan Samaraweera has been named vice-captain to Mahela Jayawardene.

De Mel said Tharanga Paranavitana and Lahiru Thirimanne would have to fight for a place as partner to Tillakaratne Dilshan in the opening pair.

Either Suranga Lakmal or Dhammika Prasad was expected to partner Chanaka Welegedara as a fast bowler while the number seven spot would be between regular wicket-keeper Prasanna Jayawardene and Dinesh Chandimal who had not kept wicket for some time, De Mel said.

England and Sri Lanka will play a two-test series with the second test scheduled to start in Colombo on April 3.

Sri Lanka squad for the first test:

Mahela Jayawardene (captain), Thilan Samaraweera, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Tharanga Paranavitana, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kumar Sangakkara, Chamara Silva, Dinesh Chandimal, Prasanna Jayawardene, Suranga Lakmal, Dhammika Prasad, Chanaka Welegedara, Suraj Randiv, Rangana Herath.

Leave a Comment